|Infected 7" Artwork courtesy of Manifester|
This split 7" was picked up at this year's Martyrdoom fest. Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice both bombarded the crowd with their slick versions of death metal. Both bands linger stylistically in the early 90's era of death metal when slowed down doom influenced riffs started seeping out of the woodwork like termites. While both bands here point to influences from the common Swedish brands, additional subtle decorations adorn each band's offering. Also worth noting is how closely linked the bands are in other notable facets: Both hail from Colorado and both have a confluence of similar members including Paul Riedl, Morris Kolontyrsky, and Jeff Barrett.
Blood Incantation rips through "Mephitic Effluvia" like a scavenger through a carcass. Riffs are punctuated by tasty melodic leads. Though not as experimental or narrative, the mixture of tempos, highlights, and deep throaty vocals rekindle memories of hearing Timeghoul's Tumultous Travelings for the first time. This is coated with a gentle natural production that is warm in tone but sharply emphasizes Barrett's masterful fretless bass playing. The sole non-Spectral Voice member, Isaac Faulk, is calculated on drums who prefers to underpin the material offered with recognizable simplicity instead of continuous flair and complexity in the same way Bolt Thrower pummels us with practical percussive attacks instead of overzealous bombast. The whole mash brews a wonderful fermented death metal concoction.
Side B of the split, Spectral Voice, churns eerily and tensely before getting their tracks rolling through the death metal muck. The slow intro might be considered overkill but once the Vastum-esque stomp is enacted "(Slowly) Claimed By Oblivion" grows into a fierce tempest, sloshing bits and pieces of soggy guitar movements into your ear-wall. Ironically, Spectral Voice is the slower piece here, with a healthy dosage of funeral doom poking through, especially near the fifth-minute 'cool-down' where steely guitar tones reverberate through ringing distorted chords until culmination. While "(Slowly)..." may be the more memorable track due to it's atmosphere, I don't think that the Spectral Voice track is quite as complete as the Blood Incantation ritual.