“There are no rich melodies veining the songs, there are no peaceful interactions between the instruments, and there is certainly no way to misinterpret the artistic idea being broadcast. Black Blood Invocation knew precisely what they wanted by taking on this form of music”
Black Blood Invocation
Black Blood Invocation
Impious Liturgies to Baal (Intro)
Black Blood Invocation
Ceremonial Worship of an Ancient God
(Author Notation: I will typically include two embedded songs off each release covered on Apanthropy. This gives readers a more in-depth review and certainly looks better than a wall of text. I will never stream full albums of any kind. I’m just personally not a fan of long blocks of audio that are not true and accurate playbacks of the records themselves. At the bottom of this review, you will find a link to Black Blood Invocation’s bandcamp page. At the time of this writing, only full streams were available. Make sure you take a few minutes to give them a listen.)
Formed in 2014 by Greek musicians Nyogtha (Cult of Eibon, Hate Manifesto) and Xexanoth (Goat Synagogue), Black Blood Invocation explore the concept of primitive, ritualistic black metal. Their self-titled demo leans heavily on influences ranging from Archgoat to Von and sees moments of vintage Beherit and Blasphemy. This style of black metal – minimalist, primitive, militant – is usually a very clearly definable case of good or bad. The execution is brutally simple. The composing and arranging of this style, however, is often what chews bands up and spits them out and into obscurity.
Black Blood Invocation begins with an intro that fouls the air, leading into the first proper track “Black Blood Invocation”. “Black Blood Invocation” begins under a fire of feedback before a pair of chords begin swinging back and forth like a thurible attacked to a smoking censer. The instruments fall silent to allow the main phrase to take center stage, a riff comprised of grinding chords that utilize tight interval spacing to create tension. The accompanying instruments replicate the main phrase to create one large and malignant central theme. The drums then enter to begin pushing the narrative forward.
This first track gives a good taste of how the remainder of the Black Blood Invocation plays out. The sparse, slower guitar riffs beckons back to Drawing Down the Moon-era Beherit, nodding to such tracks as “Sadomatic Rites” and “The Gate of Nanna”. The faster main phrases, the principle riffs that drive all the music on this demo, calls to minimalist nature of Archgoat.
“Ceremonial Worship of an Ancient God” and “Baphometical Prayers” are both executed in a fashion similar to the title track. Main phrases comprised of tremolo-picked chords changing in rhythmic manner and shifting only in very close intervals to maintain a suffocating sensation. The drums switch between mid-tempo blastbeats to pounding, violent, war march-like downbeats to frame the musical ideas driving the songs. Xexanoth chokes out visceral, grotesque vocals that drag out through the use of microphone delay.
It would be easy to criticize Black Blood Invocation as not having enough substance or enough dynamics to make it ‘truly’ stand out. There are no rich melodies veining the songs, there are no peaceful interactions between the instruments, and there is certainly no way to misinterpret the artistic idea being broadcast. Black Blood Invocation knew precisely what they wanted by taking on this form of music. From a composing standpoint, the music is stripped down to the basics and it came to fruition with the sole intent of being stripped down music. Listeners wanting a rich melodic experience should move on, however, there is no denying that there is a fanbase that exists for this style of black metal. Based on this demo, Black Blood Invocation plan to thrive within the prior mentioned fanbase. With this idea, criticizing the music for being ‘too basic’ simply doesn’t merit much other than a thought.
As a true musical debut and a demo, Black Blood Invocation create a spiritually foul piece of music that will serve as an excellent reference should the band continue to produce new material in the future. The bleak, minimal songwriting style succeeds on the back of the atmosphere it generates. Black Blood Invocation is a demo that is short enough to get lost in, the entrancing atmosphere makes it best as a piece of music consumed in its entirety.
To close, Black Blood Invocation is a worthy offering. The band’s continued development of this style – one where they already have a seemingly firm grasp on – has the potential to move them into position to continue to further and cultivate this particular form of black metal, alongside the existing sub-genre forerunners.