Almost a quarter-century after the release of Nocturnus’s Threshold album, space is once again the final frontier. But
for this Denver, Colorado four-piece, reaching for the stars is more a metaphor for an inner voyage than it is an excuse to write about aliens and spaceships.
And this isn’t their sole idiosyncratic asset; like their biggest influence, Missouri’s belated cult death metallers Timeghoul, Blood Incantation are both complex and arcane-sounding, the vocals underlining the overall eeriness.
Starspawn is technical and brutallly progressive but discerningly so. It may open with a 13-minute-long epic – a third of the total running time – that isn’t that easy to swallow in one go but their combination of Demilich-style tortuous wanderings and Incantation’s eviscerating grooves never crumble under the weight of their labyrinthine guitar leads and fretless basslines. Starspawn is demanding but worth travelling across the galaxy for.