Review by Jason Guest
Finland’s Convulse are back after an eighteen year absence. Formed in 1988 as S.D.S., they changed their name in 1990 and released a couple of demos and two albums – 1991’s World Without God and 1994’s Reflections – the latter of which was to be their last as they split soon after. After playing a few live shows in 2012, Convulse have seen the light – or dark, I suppose – and judged that the time is right to bestow upon an undeserving world new material, a two-track EP that is, frankly, too short.
Instead of the usual fare of an all-out death assault, ‘Inner Evil’ has an unconventional arrangement. The demonic growl, slaying chords, and the chilling melody that open the title track soon give way to a wave of pernicious riffs that, while rapid and rabid, are underpinned by new drummer Rolle Markos’s refusal to sit still. His punishing lines are woven into the very core of the track and he’s managed to simultaneously mould himself around the riff while providing a devastating foundation for Rami Jämsä’s granite-gargling vocals to be discharged from. Dynamically and structurally, this is a challenging track that Convulse manage to load with as much death metal depravity as is possible.
And so, after that, where can they go? With such a developed piece leading the EP, surely all that’s left for ‘God Is Delusion’ is to sit quaking in its shadow and Convulse to pack it in and go home once more? Nope. While not as immediate as ‘Inner Evil’ and maybe a little self-indulgent, ‘God Is Delusion’ is equally complex and unconventional. An acoustic intro introduces a melodic fretless bass line before the death metal gates are again opened wide. Huge grooves, slavering vocals, and raging riffs abound as the track shifts into more of an atmospheric aesthetic, the tempo slowing towards the latter half as the mournful and melancholic guitar melodies unfold and the harmonies develop as the backing track slowly evolves.
With both tracks at about six minutes long, Convulse have created an EP that is not only very impressive, but also means that if the album maintains this level of musicianship and songwriting, it’s going to be a killer. Recorded in full analog – no triggers or Pro-Tools and everyone playing live – this EP is as sharp as any digital recording and heavier and denser than a lead-lined concrete bunker.
7 out of 10
- And you can converse with Convulse during their convulsions when you congregate with them over at Facebook
- Inner Evil
- God Is Delusion
- Read Jason’s interview with guitarist/vocalist Rami Jämsä here