Convulse – Inner Evil EP

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By Sean Palmerston

Chalk this one up as a reunion this writer is actually interested in, not to mention did not see coming. Finland’s Convulse was part of that country’s early, weird death metal scene. Active alongside bands like Xysma and Disgrace – both brutal death/grind bands that ended up becoming something very different by the end of their recording careers – Convulse had the unfortunate luck of having its members needing to take part in mandatory military services. Which meant that after creating an absolutely godlike debut album (World Without God), the band lost almost all momentum when its follow up was delayed more than a year due to said army adventures. This hiatus ended up being one the band couldn’t recover from and within another year Convulse was done.

Fast forward eighteen years and, after the great Relapse reissue of World Without God a few years back, these freaky Finns are quite surprisingly back together, with three-quarters of the original band intact. While they do have a new drummer, the rest of the original line up is here and I am glad to report have seemingly taken up things where they left off to the point that these two new songs that make up this seven-inch single sound like they could have been recorded right alongside their debut album. This is not a bad thing.

A-side “Inner Evil” is a groovy, mid-paced death metal stomper that features some great riffing and an old school guitar solo full of divebomb goodness. The drumming is the real highlight here, with the new guy proving himself more than solid, providing lots of nice fills and some great, near blast-beat snare action. There are several time changes in the song, from early doomy introspection to a stomping mid-section. The band has stated everything was recorded without modern assistance and you can tell. This is a well-rehearsed band that knows these songs inside and out. On the flipside the longer “God Is Delusion” starts with an acoustic guitar and fretless bass intro that builds into a slightly more up-tempo tune that has almost thrash tendencies to it. It’s more immediate than the other side of the record, but perhaps not as strong overall.

These two songs are reportedly the first of what will be a full-length album by the band later this year. If this is any indication of what is to come, I think that their return couldn’t have come at a better time. I can’t wait to hear the rest of what Convulse circa 2013 is capable of.

(Svart Records)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.