Sunday, January 6, 2013

Convulse - Inner Evil [2013]

Though ''World Without God'' was easily one of my favorite old school death metal albums, I wasn't exactly longing for a comeback by the masters of the macabre. Yet there was a tempestuous rapping against my door, which was followed by a flood of various releases by Svart Records, and among them, I was actually quite astonished to see an EP by Convulse, and what's even more shocking is that the cover suggested they were actually aiming to pay a little revisit to their olden efforts, instead of tailing the modernized travesty they turned into with their sophomore and concluding album, and indeed, my predictions turned out to be correct, at least to an extent. I then shortly became aware of their reunion, but I'm not here to argue whether it was their burgeoning eminence in the Internet over recent years or just a sudden surge of fervor that made them come together after all these years; I'll only be dissecting this two-track EP, thank you very much.

Honestly, even though I've witnessed quite a bit of successful death metal resurgences and continuations of late (Autopsy, Vader, Deceased, etc), I, for some reason, I knew that Convulse could never exceed their masterful panoply of pretense macabre, and that prediction was correct as well. Quality was out of the question from the very start, but I was actually quite induced by their preferences aesthetic-wise, because Convulse, while still not exactly as gloomy and deprived, comes pretty close to their lauded full-length's appeal in terms of atmosphere and textures in general. They can still show their profound love for brutalized macabre tremolo patterns well, but I'd say ''Inner Evil'' is a less absorbing than the Convulse we all know; it has a cleaner tone and much of the dourness in missing, but there's an oblique amalgamation between corpulent bowel-ripping and more misanthropic, refined hooks that seem as though they were ripped from Demigod's ''Slumber Of Sullen Eyes'', but again, with more acute precision and clarity.

The group has also considered some of the fashioned trends going on; there are plenty of obvious Swedish death metal interpretations that, with a more stubborn, flattened tone, sound more like a plummet of bludgeoning hammers rather than viler chainsaw-action put into practice on a bunch of molested cadavers. While certainly not a novelty, I like it, and with the help of a robust slew of drum beats behind them the band is redolent of Vader, especially on their latest album, ''Welcome To The Morbid Reich'', but there's a tighter focus on somber yet simplistic melody patterns narrating the death/doom obelisks lumbering about, instead of  a brilliant assembly of blazing leads. The EP is ten minutes, so you might naturally think it's not crammed with variation, but Convulse have actually done a particularly good job, stacking together ominous chord progressions and with semi-atmospheric melodies, making ''Inner Evil'' a better affair than most probably imagined it would be. I'll admit, I'm not going to plead the Finns for a bigger serving of what they had in store for us here, but there's no denying that they've some sharp hooks on this release that a death metal revivalist or Finndeath fan would surely sink into. As solid as the viscera-made manifestation on its cover.

God Is Delusion
Inner Evil

Rating: 77%

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