Alongside fellow Finnish old-school death metal band Purtenance, Convulse are back in 2013 with their first full-length album in about 20 years. Convulse’s “World Without God” was easily among the highlights of the entire Finnish death metal scene, and “Evil Prevails” certainly attempts to reclaim that glory. The good news is that, for the most part, they do. Everything about this release sounds like it was pulled from 1991. Even the production isn’t really that modern. The guitars have a sludgy tone that is almost certainly the result of downtuning. They generally play any number of standard, speedy death metal riffs with all of the appropriate fanfare: galloping, tremolo picking, chugging, etc. Though they never quite reach the excesses of the Swedish scene, Convulse know when and how to slow things down with crushing breakdowns (the middle of “Unholy War” has a prime example). In addition to these types of breakdowns, the band also uses slower sections for the occasional clean guitar moments. The aforementioned “Unholy War” has a very “Seasons In The Abyss”-esque example of this sound.
In direct contrast to this mellowness, the band moves into “World Downfall”, which is an obliterating force of blastbeats and riffs. This track also displays the remarkable vocals of Rami Jämsä. Perhaps what is most amazing about his growls are that they don’t sound any different than they did over 20 years ago. They’re still quite deep, with little emphasis on clarity. It is a rugged assault of force with one primary goal: brutality. Aside from the vocals, another area of emphasis on “Evil Prevails” is the lead guitar work. Though not as prevalent in every song, some tracks like “God Is Delusion” feature lengthy solos that conjure contrasting emotions from the rest of the record. The title track likewise displays some of this excellent lead playing. In many ways, this is the one area where “Evil Prevails” differs from “World With God”. There is an overarching theme of darkness and despair, which is no better displayed than in the outro to “Days are Dark”, which gives an Insomnium-like vibe by using clean guitars to create a melancholic feeling.
Overall, “Evil Prevails” is one inspired slab of death metal. It certainly isn’t identical to the band's opus record, but it is a true continuation of their legacy. While nothing stands out as being particularly enthralling about the album, it is highly recommended to all fans of old-school death metal because it accurately captures the atmosphere and sound of a record from the early 90’s. Likewise, it goes without saying that fans of Convulse and other Finnish bands will also really enjoy “Evil Prevails”.
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"God Is Delusion"
"Days Are Dark"
3.6/5 or 72%.
Written by Scott