There’s something so inescapably raw about well-executed death metal. The downtuned guitars, chunky riffs, thumping bass drums and guttural vocals swirl together into this bludgeoning combination that hits you over the head like an uncooked steak, and with twice the bloodiness. Be it early Floridian death metal, Gothenburg-style melodeath, or the newfangled progressive techdeath that seems to be sweeping the scene (no pun intended), when death metal is good, you’ll know because of the feeling in your gut: the visceral, stomach-churning pit it opens within you that makes you angry and think “I could kill a motherfucker in the pit to this.”
Starspawn, the debut LP from Denver-based old school death metal/death-doom/technical death metal/what-have-you group Blood Incantation is sure to bring about that feeling in a huge portion of its listeners: part fist-pumping OSDM riffs that sound like they came straight from the Chuck Schuldiner playbook, part apocalypse-level heavy death doom riffs, and a sizable dosage of nigh-Lovecraftian atmosphere that reeks of existential space terror and Old Things from other dimensions, across 35 minutes Starspawn alternately dazzles with the monolithic grandeur it brings to such an earthy and physical style of music and terrifies with the horror and brutality that comes from, well, the exact same thing. That’s the beauty of the whole thing, really: Starspawn is diverse in sound like few other death metal bands – especially in this raw style – but it all comes out of the music organically. Blood Incantation doesn’t fuse genres so much as just write death metal in a way wholly different from anybody else in the game right now.
Fans of the newer wave of raw, unadulterated death metal that seems to be making a huge comeback right now (personally, I can’t really figure out why it left) are sure to find a new gem for their collection with Starspawn, and lovers of extreme metal can certainly come to appreciate the unconventional yet still stupid-heavy approach these guys take. Keep these guys on your radar.