Review: Convulse – Cycle of Revenge

Posted: February 20, 2016 in Reviews
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Legendary Finnish death metallers Convulse, whose debut ‘World Without God’ is one of my favourite death metal records, have returned with a new record called ‘Cycle of Revenge’. It’s their second after their long split, with 2013’s ‘Evil Prevails’ preceeding it. But what lies in store is not what you might expect.

If you were a fan of 1991 Convulse, you may be in for something a little different here. ‘Cycle of Revenge’ loses none of its bowel rattling menace, nor its cavernous vocals, but it feels a lot more like almost a progressive death metal record, like Opeth, than Death or Massacre. The opening title track is an expansive piece of metal, with melodic riffs and a definitive sense of space. There’s a bit of early Atheist in there now, and it is actually a bit jarring to think this is the same band that unleashed ‘World Without God’. The rumbling menace of ‘Ever Flowing Stream” or the sweeping ‘War’ hit the spot particularly well.

But that isn’t to say that this is a bad album. Far from it in fact, it is just such a stylistic change from the Convulse I know and love. ‘Pangaea’ is this atmospheric beauty, with some truly progressive moments and some excellent fretwork. The main thing holding this to the death metal side is the guttural bellow of vocalist Rami Jämsä, but other than that, this is a gloriously adventurous progressive metal album that slips into the more brutal side every so often. There’s an almost tribal feel to the drumming that brings to mind the glory days of Sepultura, and there’s some excellent soloing work here, particularly the soaring end of ‘Nature of Humankind’.

If you’re expecting vintage 90s Finnish death, then you’re gonna be disappointed. But give this record a chance, because Convulse will show you just how good their music is, and whether its brutal or not, everyone should be able to appreciate the quality of material here.


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