I would say BLOOD INCANTATION belongs to the most surprising, brilliant and powerful bands on the Death Metal scene today. I just remind their debut "Starspawn" album ended last year among the first three places of our TOP of 2017 and similarly they placed in many other interesting charts. The band's potential is enormous, they bring to their work not only a technical side, great composition, good playing skills at a high level, or a bursting brutality, but especially an crushing atmosphere. It moves somewhere on the edge of Sci-Fi, Horror, ancient mysteries, magic, occultism, mysticism and so on, describing it all is not even possible. I personally think this band will replace many fading Death Metal legends of the 90s in the future, because they are much more inventive and self-confident today. I compare their material with new things from Obituary, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Vader, or Suffocation, and my verdict is unambiguous, BLOOD INCANTATION! We are delighted to introduce you interview with them in our Necrosphere webzine. The questions were answered by Paul Riedl (guit, vox).
Hello to the heavy BLOOD INCANTATION from Eastern Europe. To begin with, I have to say I discovered your band as soon as the "Blood Incantation" demo was released and immediately I recognized what I'm saying depth in Death Metal. Many Death Metal bands play only rhythmic and often soulless Death Metal without atmosphere, only with the necessary morbidity and violence, but when I hear your riffs, my mind immediately recognized names like Morbid Angel, Nocturnus, Pestilence, Gorguts, Timeghoul, Disincarnate, Demilich and the like. How do you perceive the depth and the spiritual atmosphere in extreme music?
Cheers for your interest, demon! Hails to our Eastern European fans who came out in support of "European Necrosis". We appreciate to hear such kind words from you regarding our music. For us, spiritual depth and atmospheric power are some of our ultimate inspirations in life, as well as music. We are most moved by bands who we believe had a greater depth or inspiration behind their music than simply heaviness or general brutality - it doesn't matter even the genre, just the obscure feeling behind the music. Personally I can appreciate some deliberately-primitive or deceptively-simple styles, it just depends how they put things together. But for our own efforts, our music is attempting to speak with an older, more primordial and strange part of the listener's mind.
Don't get me wrong, I do not think BLOOD INCANTATION is a literal connection of names I mentioned above, rather I meant you fall into category of bands that have a strong sense of innovation, creativity and own vision of ugliness, but also futurism. Your work combines an inhuman atmosphere with perfect technical riffs, heavy crushing brutality and great compositing flow, everything goes hand in hand. How did you learn to compose such complex and deep riffs?
I guess just time, brother. Lots of bunk riffs in many trash cans throughout the years. The music on "Starspawn" and "Interdimensional…" was already a few years old by the time they were released, and all of us have been in many bands for many years, so we are just always working on music. Personally, I have been attempting to increase my riffing abilities since 2002, and would like to think I have relatively improved with each new band or project I've been involved. When I first went on tour in 2007 I was a sloppy player at least, so it has just been developing over many years of refinement. The difference between our first tour and second tour was pretty substantial, and in Europe it is even crazier. It is awesome to see people respond so positively to our music, both with the tours and the albums themselves.
The culmination or perhaps the satisfaction is of course your new "Starspawn" album, where we can find all the elements and techniques you've gradually shaped over the years, even you have become better players and musicians than on previous works. Do you know at this moment how far you can come? What are you going to do in the future as you are making extremely powerful and charismatic songs today? I'm sure if "Starspawn" came out in 1991, it would be so strong you could stand near Morbid Angel...
Haha, thanks man!!! We would love to play with them one day. Once on tour we were standing on the same ground next to Trey in Los Angeles, but that is a story for another time, haha. As for this moment, it is clear how far we've come every time we are driving into a new city, or loading gear into some international festival - it is fucking surreal!! It is so crazy man, especially when as I said, for years people were not interested. For now we just want to take it as far as we can go while keeping it sick. For the future, we just want to make it as sick as we can.
Your music is more harmonic or more melodic only in certain sequences, especially in slower and more atmospheric ones, or in many leads. But other riffs are a mixture of pretty ugly and dehumanized creations, I would say you often flirt with disharmonic practices, even with a slight atonality. Who has influenced you on this side? Are you listening to the classical works of the second Viennese school? Do you also listen to music outside of Metal territory?
Ah man, the influences are endless. We all listen to many styles of music. For BI we all share a specific dark psychedelic/progressive slant, obscure ambient/experimental influences, as well as generally preferring 80s/very early 90s style to modern aesthetics, so it comes through very naturally to us as a mix of all these styles. But I do think the ambient or experimental parts of our band are still wholly attached to The Riff. The Riff is most important, then arrangement/structure, and then atmosphere; the atmosphere is always generated BY the riffs and the sequence. Personally I have no proper musical training or understanding as to which parts of are music are "this" way or "that", but I can recognize what I like about a riff and then try to find a similar type of feeling by ear.
Also from an atmospheric point of view, your music shows strange and bizarre feelings, often touching the darkness, occultism, horror abstraction, grotesque urgency, dimensional chaos, there are so many feelings and differences than other Death Metal bands that the listener almost does not understand where it all springs in you. What role does the atmosphere play for you? It is clear your music is a comprehensive range of many aspects. At which place stands atmospheric sound to you?
Ultimately I think it just because we are strange and bizarre people, with interests into darkness, occultism, horror abstraction, and all the things you've mentioned! We are a mirror and the world itself possesses these feelings as well, so really the atmosphere is just a big reflective portal into the groupmind of the human universe. It seeps through the riffs into the sides of your consciousness, slipping between dimensional layers and immersing your aura into its obscure vibrations!!!
Many ordinary people, perhaps we can call them sheep, see Metal extremely negative, whether in terms of violence, noise, decadent harmonies, black color, which is quite important in this community, also long hair, often with Satanic and blasphemic aura, ominous artworks on the albums covers, disgraceful and primitive lyrics, everything comes to them too extreme and meaningless. How do you understand the EVIL and the darkness in Metal? However, these topics were its own from the beginnings, whether we look at Black Sabbath, Coven, Mercyful Fate and later old bands from Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Death and Black Metal....
I think most of the bands you've mentioned originally just wanted to shock people, which is fine. That is the mirror. But deep inside heavy metal, specifically underground metal, as well as many forms of expression across media, is the longing for darkness, for the Otherness of life. The average human merely rejects this longing for the Other. They are not generally curious. Death is scary to them, and billions of people avoid deathlike things at all costs, through superstitions, religions, etc. Modern society is such a joke, modern civilization so empty, and individual human existence so inherently minuscule that humanity has developed entire sub-genres within sub-genres dedicated to mysticism and anti-humanness, both musically and otherwise. Art in general always has a penchant for the otherworldly, the mystical, and the abstract, so even something as brutish as DEATH METAL will occasionally have elements of Art's longing for transcendence from human limitations lurking within its emanations.
I have to say your music is quite original for me, even though originality is subjective term. Many bands that sound like this are like any other bands influenced by someone else, more or less. If I take Death Metal as a genre, one of the last original bands I've ever heard is probably Nile, from then everything is being recycled and especially the copy bands are at the forefront today and many of them are pretty well known and big. Huge amounts of HM2 sound, copies of Incantation, Autopsy, Morbid Angel and so on. But when I listen to your recordings, some resemblance to Demilich and Timeghoul is there, but you're still very recognizable, different from 90% of other current DM bands...
Thanks man! We can't really deny any influences as they may appear, but ultimately nothing is truly original anyway; we just like this music and try to make the music as sick as we can. We enjoy that people enjoy it, but we enjoy it for ourselves as well. It is less about sounding like one thing or another and more about our own freedom of expression, which I think is maybe something we might have in common with some older bands rather than newer ones. We just want to make the records as we would like to hear them, and arrange things how we think are sick and interesting. Obviously we are super into the bands you mention and all things cult and obscure, but we still hear unknown riffs in our heads so we try to find them and bring them out as sick as we can.
How do you perceive spirituality in music in general? I mean some deeper message, not just making some hard rhythmic music for head banging before the podium and doing a bit of a scary... I feel you do not play superficial shit and certainly your music is not just for fun, but it has also transcendence to make a listener to think more, feel, to have interest, you give a lot of energy to your music, but hundreds of other bands playing superficial music say the same...
As I mentioned earlier, spiritual depth and the deeper longing for death and transcendence in art are huge inspirations for us. It is very important to us to maintain a deep connection between what we're playing and what we're feeling. I feel as the audience member you can tell when we are not in The Zone, though it is seldom. Even though it is fun to play sick riffs with your friends and have hundreds of people there being stoked about it, there are still times when you can get so into the music that you don't even have to think about what you're playing, you can just watch, or (if you dare) close your eyes and just listen, just letting the riffs flow through your hands and not even worrying about how to play what. But this is a dangerous bargain -if you get TOO into it, you just get lost. So it is important to balance precision and clarity of the moment with not over-thinking things. Our band is all about the subconscious and obscure connections between "everything else" and "the human mind".
Your lyrics are just as interesting as the music itself and they are complementing each other very well, perhaps in a 50-50 ratio. Mainly I was interested in some of your Anunnaki mythology lyrics closely related to Sumerian civilization as well. Sure you met with Zecharia Sitchin´s works who written book series of Earth Chronicles and he got hard criticism from the scientists who called his work as pseudo-scientific. Then what do you think of the origin of our civilization which Anunnaki was supposed to help first by working slaves and of archeo-astronautics?
I am familiar with Sitchin and others who propose that beings from beyond this world have interacted with humanity throughout the ages, and personally I love the idea. Logistically, there are simply too many similarities between too many cultures too far spread out to have developed them independently. Not just names or similar mythological attributes, I'm talking specific construction and manufacturing techniques which clearly show a learned origin from a shared source. I think humans have 1) been on this planet for much longer than is told and 2) many forms of life exist beyond this planet and have interacted with humans for millennia. Ultimately I am more curious than I am certain. I just want to know...
Have you also started to be interested in Sumerian civilization, religion, mythology, magic, cosmogony, culture, and so on because of this theme? HP Lovecraft, author of the haunting stories, was also interested in somewhat similar subjects, he also built a lot of his mythology on interesting theories about Sumerian deities and last but not least there is the Necronomicon book, which, according to many ones, is a hoax, but it also builds on the magic of Sumerian and Silver, or lunar magic, maybe everything is related and maybe not...
Lovecraft is incredible but you are correct, Necronomicon is not an otherworldly text. Many of the names of beings he used however are similar to actual creatures, so be careful whom you incant while reading!
Sure you are also interested in various interesting themes around ancient civilizations, while there have been found weird buildings inadequate to the architecture of their time, too precise construction works, perfect angles, the maturity of architecture and the associated frightening fantasies about the architects of such works. They were found in Turkey, along the Japanese coast, Andy, South America, England, China and so on. Do these fascinating buildings fascinate you?
I would say "fascinate" is an understatement. I am obsessed with trying to find the connections between all of these ancient sites and the endless megalithic structures across the world. Ever since I was little I have been fascinated with Egypt/Kemet, Sumer/Mesopotamia and the mystical religions of the far east and more. In 2009 I saw pyramids for the first time in Mexico and I was able to see into peeled layers of multiple realities while standing atop one particular site in Coba, all without any mind-altering chemicals. I could see the fast-motion replays of endless years' worth of construction and dissolution of the many cities of the Yucatan, the forests growing and being hewn into roads, different styles of architecture unfolding, and basically all of the facets consistent with a mystical experience. Since this event I have been even more insane and Out Of Touch with reality, but the riffs have only gotten sicker, so...
Ok, that would be all from me, if I forgot something important, you can write anything or you can greet your fans in Eastern Europe. Thank you for answering my questions and wish BLOOD INCANTATION a lot of black inspiration, your works rule!
Thanks for the interview man, we appreciate your interest. Just remember that everything is connected, you are not who you think you are, this world is more than meets the eye, and DEATH is not the end, but a doorway - YOU ARE THE STARGATE.
Paul Riedl 4. 12. 2017 Mortuary