It's Not UnusualReview by Metallattorney. He is the law.
In the early 1990's, a couple of death metal bands formed in Finland that would prove to have a very unique style. Demilich was an extremely unusual band with oddball riffs and frog croak vocals. And then there was Convulse. There was just something unsettling about Convulse's sound. It was not massively different from other bands, but their ability to develop a frightening atmosphere was uncanny.
Unfortunately Convulse did not last long. They had just two albums, including the amazing World Without God before breaking up in 1994. With the resurgence of old school death metal and the multiple reunions going on, it came as no surprise that Convulse came back together in 2012. Original members Juha Telenius and Rami Jamsa re-formed the band in 2012 and already have a two-song EP that released that year. The band followed that up with this album.
A lot of the problem with bands re-forming is that they are unable to capture the sound and atmosphere that they once defined them. Some bands achieve notoriety for the brevity of their careers and the few releases they have are lionized. This is unfortunately the fate of Convulse here. There is nothing really wrong with this release but it feels like a desperate attempt to capture the sound of their beloved 1990's albums. Since that time, a number of bands have attempted the same sound to the point that it is not really that unusual any more. Convulse comes out sounding like another copycat.
As I said, there is nothing really wrong here. The songs are well-crafted slabs of sepulchral death metal. The vocals are still as desiccated as ever, sounding as if the vocalist had just risen from the crypts. The riffs are impressive and the leads and soloing adds some nice flair. Some of the songs are downright vicious. These are definitely some great songs and a worthwhile addition to the recent old school death metal wave, especially coming from a revered act like Convulse. The only problem is that it just does not feel like Convulse. It feels like an imitator.
I think this is a decent album, but it feels more like a World Without God imitator rather than a follow-up. I wonder if I hold it to a higher standard because it is a Convulse album. If it were a different band's name on the cover would I give it a higher score? I don't know the answer to that question.
I give this album 3.5 out of 5 stars