ⓘ Hidden History of the Human Race is the second studio album of Denver-based death metal group Blood Incantation, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Paul Riedl ..

                                     

ⓘ Hidden History of the Human Race

Hidden History of the Human Race is the second studio album of Denver-based death metal group Blood Incantation, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Paul Riedl, guitarist Morris Kolontyrsky, drummer Isaac Faulk and bassist Jeff Barrett.

All of the tracks from Hidden History of the Human Race were first performed live at the Fire In The Mountains festival in Jackson, Wyoming on July 13, 2019, and the recorded album was released in all formats on November 22, 2019 by Dark Descent Records in North America and Century Media Records in all other countries. The artwork consists of Bruce Penningtons front cover for the Brian Aldiss novel Space, Time and Nathaniel 1957 with the band logo and the name of the album superimposed onto it. Commercially, the LP was a Billboard United States Heatseekers Albums chart-topper and a top 40 hit on the same magazines Current Albums chart. It also was claimed by several critics to be the metal album of the year and made the year-end lists of publications such as Stereogum, Pitchfork, Metal Hammer, Consequence of Sound, BrooklynVegan, and The Quietus.

                                     

1. Background

Not counting "The Giza Power Plant" written in 2013, writing of Hidden History of the Human Race lasted for more than three years; With the intention of making challenging metal music, members of Blood Incantation intentionally wrote parts they couldnt perform initially, and rehearsed them for more than a month before recording began. "Inner Paths to Outer Space" was written improvised for several months with all the group members on psychedelics, and features Demilich vocalist Antti Boman performing growl vocals at the end. Hidden History of the Human Race was analog-recorded at World Famous Studios in Denver starting June 21, 2019.

Blood Incantation first performed the entirety of Hidden History of the Human Race at the Fire In The Mountains festival in Jackson, Wyoming on July 13, 2019. The band later performed "Slave Species of the Gods" live as part of the 2019 Decibel magazine tour with Immolation; Hidden History of the Human Race was originally planned to be released in coincidence with the tour, but it was pushed back to a later fall 2019 date due to the deadline being too limited.

"Inner Paths to Outer Space" was issued as the albums lead single on October 11, 2019 before "Slave Species of the Gods" was released as the second on November 11, 2019; its music video was released the same day and consists of a VHS-recorded live performance of the song on October 11, 2019 in Santa Ana, California. Hidden History of the Human Race was released to all formats on November 22, 2019 in the United States by Dark Descent Records in North America and Century Media Records in all other territories.

The artwork for Hidden History of the Human Race uses the front cover of Brian Aldiss novel Space, Time and Nathaniel 1957 created by British painter Bruce Pennington, which the band chose to use before they recorded their debut LP. Upon the covers reveal in September 2019, it garnered negative buzz from listeners in the metal community as they found it a rip-off of another albums artwork that also used the same Pennington piece, Canadian group Agonys Apocalyptic Dawning 1995; electronic musician Alec Empire also used the cover for the front cover of his album released the same year, Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5. Another one of Penningtons works from 1973 also made up the artwork of Blood Incantations debut extended play Interdimensional Extinction 2015.

                                     

2. Content

With Hidden History of the Human Race, Blood Incantation went out to produce "a genuine and distinctive album of monumental and epic psychedelic/brutal/progressive/technical/ambient/funeral death metal like no other," summarized Paul Riedl. While continuing the cosmic soundscapes and themes of Starspawn 2016, Hidden History of the Human Race is more focused and consistent compositionally and more upfront and harsh mixing-wise, with an increase in meaty guitars, clear drums, and reverb and delay effects. The track listing is set up in the tradition of 1970s progressive rock albums, with three tracks on side A and one long epic on side B. Lyrically, the album questions traditional and agreed-upon theories about the human species, specifically evolution, consciousness, and how they have historically developed societies.

Hidden History of the Human Race presents a move of death metal in the 2010s towards spiritual tinges away from extreme cynicism, which was also showcased via the works of Toronto-based Tomb Mold and the Philadelphia-based Horrendous. Blood Incantation described "Inner Paths to Outer Space" as a "meditative journey through the inner cosmos of the human mind," where "the atmosphere is meant to allow the listener time and space to explore their own thoughts and go on their own journey before the epic brutality of the album returns for the final track." The Line of Best Fit compared the albums space-y and ambient aspects to the recent works of Gojira and Mastodon. Similarities to Paradise Lost, Nile, Obituary, Entombed, Gorguts, Atheist, Cynic, Death, and Cannibal Corpse were also noted in reviews.

                                     

3. Critical response

One of the most anticipated metal records of 2019, Hidden History of the Human Race was greeted with critical claims of it being the best metal album of the year as well as the decade and a classic. Both Metal Sucks and Toilet Ov Hell called it much better than Starspawn, Metal Sucks reasoning that "the songs take more surprising turns, the production sounds better, so seamlessly and maintains a pace that makes not a single second of it boring."

The albums atmosphere and vibe was a common spotlight, particularly in relation to the analog recording technique. Jack Kelleher stated in a Exclaim! review that "you breathe the atmosphere of this record when you listen to it" which is "why youll return to it again and again," while Pitchfork claims the "music feels meditative, despite all its frenetic motion; they recorded the entire thing - every interlocking part and lightspeed tempo switch - analog, which means that you are hearing a band breathing as an organism, a group of people accomplishing something remarkable when you play it."