Friday, March 11, 2016

Convulse - Cycle Of Revenge (2016)

Their second album after reforming in 2012, Cycle Of Revenge marks the Finnish death metal metal trio's fourth album overall. Based on what I've heard, these guys have been experimenting with a heck of a lot of prog and unfamiliar elements for the genre, which make for a type of death metal that isn't really all that “brutal” or “heavy” but it's still a lot of fun to listen to. It almost feels like one of those groovy prog-rock albums with all the vocals replaced by the death grunts, but it's an approach that is unique and interesting enough that I'll take it. I know, I know – some people just can't fucking handle this sort of thing and I can understand that. But trust me when I say as sure as rain that there are umpteen million death metal records that sound like regular old death metal records, and probably less albums than I can count on all of my fingers and toes that sound like this.

Let's just take “Fractured Pieces” as an example of what I'm talking about, with it's tribal intro, whispered vocals and forays into grooves that some might mistake as a mix between Moonspell's “From Lowering Skies” and the Mortal Kombat theme music. Now I know that sounds bizarre, because it is, but it oddly works. Just as well as the unexpected blues number that follows it, “Nature Of Humankind.” Granted, it doesn't stay a blue number, but it certainly starts out in a way that would make the common death metal listener wonder as to what they were listening to. Yet I almost feel that that is the point entirely. “Ever Flowing Stream” came right after that with an almost clean (yet gritty) approach that doesn't even feel like death metal anymore and with that, all became clear. Convulse may have made true to the bone death metal back in the early nineties, but they don't really want to do that now. Though why should they? Obviously the band is incredibly talented, so if they want to throw classical melodies together with thick gravel and grooves on “War” they should be more than able to without discretion.

The Finns love to experiment and I see Convulse as another example of that experimenting done right. The disc is still a little bit rough in some areas, but I'd still recommend it on account of pure uniqueness. I don't think you're going to hear anything from the death metal scene this year, so why not give such an interesting album a try? If you want to listen to the same old shit, that's perfectly fine. But when I'm looking for a touch of something new, I'll check out the kinds of music that bands like Sadist and Convulse make, because that is what I consider to be a true sign of evolution in the genre. I really feel that progressive music fans who don't really get into death or extreme forms of metal will like this as well. It's one of the very few times I feel that I can say something like that, because Convulse has done something here that very few bands have ever done and may ever do. Let that sink in for a moment.

(8 Tracks, 34:00)


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