Finnish progressive death metal veterans CONVULSE will unleash their long-awaited new full-length, Deathstar, October 30th via Transcending Records.
A near forty-one-minute masterwork, Deathstar delivers nine tracks that transcend the boundaries of standard death metal. Fusing the prime tenets of death metal, heavy rock, and prog into something innovative and enticing, the record arguably picks up where the band’s underrated 1994 gem Reflections full-length left off adopting a similar genre-bending approach and modernizing it.
Deathstar was recorded and mixed in analog at JJ-studio with Juuso Nordlund and comes swathed in the art of Jan Yrlund, based on the painting Strangled by Minna Mead. Elaborates guitarist/vocalist Rami Jämsä of the offering, “Deathstar will be an interesting experience for those who listen to music with an open mind. We’ve not forgotten our roots of old-school death metal, but for me, it’s very natural to evolve musically and write music free of any boundaries. You can perhaps hear some echoes from the Reflections album. We recorded Deathstar during the Summer/Fall of 2019 in the same twenty-four-track reel-to-reel analog studio with the same producer as the Evil Prevails album back in 2013 (JJ-studio/Juuso Nordlund). The sound of the album is timeless. It will be difficult to figure out which decade it has been written and recorded. We wrote and rehearsed the album material for almost three years.”
Of first single, “The Summoning,” released earlier this year, Jämsä continues, “‘The Summoning’ is a story about our craving to fulfill our life. Between our birth and death, we have to make innumerable amounts of choices. There is a line in the song, “We have an obligation to fulfill our empty souls,” and, “Which one you think you are?” One who regrets or standing tall?” I think it’s an important question for every one of us. The song composed itself quite quickly. At first, I made the haunting synth melody and the rest of the song is composed together with the band in our rehearsal studio. In the end of the song, you can hear some influences from the one of my favorite bands, Rush.”
Stream CONVULSE’s “The Summoning” at THIS LOCATION.
Deathstar Track Listing:
- Extreme Dark Light
- The Summoning
- We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Make Humanica Great Again
- Light My Day
- The End
When Finland’s first death metal boom started in the late ’80s/early ’90s, among the first of its troops on the frontlines was CONVULSE. Like many of their comrades, the band churned out that dark, brutal, uncompromising style of death metal for which the scene had become notorious, culminating in the band’s 1991 debut, World Without God, released on now-defunct French label Thrash Records. Shortly after, CONVULSE followed in the footsteps of many of their contemporaries and began flirting with progressive rock elements as was evinced on their 1992 EP Lost Equilibrium and then fully refined on second full-length Reflections, both of which were released via Relapse Records. The band called it quits in 1994.
CONVULSE returned in 2012, ready to tread the path they helped pave decades prior. The band released their Inner Evil EP followed by and their comeback album, Evil Prevails. Brutal, menacing Finnish death metal was the name of the game here, lacking in any other unnecessary gimmicks or modern trends. History would partially repeat itself in 2016 when the band revisited the prog infused death ‘n’ roll leanings on their fourth studio album, Cycle Of Revenge. It was on this album where they would reach their full potential manifesting an unique and engaging sound, one they’ve been cultivating ever since.
Deathstar finds the band at their most ambitious. A very different band than the one that marched in the first wave decades ago, as the only real holdover of their original sound is the iconic deep grunts of Rami Jämsä. Their ability to bridge the gap between hard rock grooves and airy melodic sections drenched in atmosphere is nothing short of astounding, and even experienced ears will find some new twists and turns to marvel at. Their influences are numerous; their sound varied. Deathstar will take its listeners on a soothing journey to beautiful and unknown places whose nuance and depth will make parting a sweet sorrow and each return all the more rewarding. [words by Luxi Lahtinen]