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The birth of death metal was a brutal sonic revolution that took violence in music to a new level and spawned several different styles, amongst them the Scandinavian variants. The Finnish scene, though extremely short-lived, has been having a more distinctive impact in this new world order where being retro is again being on vogue, and Convulse was definitely one of the seminal names of that northern country. They only released a couple of albums before falling off the edge of the world, but their 1991 opus, World Without God, will forever remain as a testimonial of putrid and vile death metal. To this day the immersive atmosphere and brutish persona of that unrelenting album still strikes many as a beastly impersonation of what death metal should be, thus making it a standout point and a reference in terms of where to find a fountain of influences to sip from. So when news arrived that Convulse themselves would release a new studio work I had high hopes for it. Sadly though, these hopes were rapidly trampled beneath twelve minutes of nothingness.
It’s not that I couldn’t have lived with such a small body of work after almost twenty silent years. But when that small window presents nothing but a clinically produced rehashing of past glories, as if somehow the band now decided to release some B-sides, I can’t stop nodding my head in disapproval. The title track is the first to emerge with a derivative Autopsy-styled riff that could be easily recognizable from afar. Atmosphere is the main goal trying to be achieved with this olden and foul breath, but the aforementioned plastic production just makes it unconvincing. The drums sound too plastic and there’s no foreboding atmosphere created, no sense of dread forced onto you. Instead there’s clean, modern sounding, by the book death metal. Small changes in pace are set here and there through a more upbeat drumming style that brings recollections of the old days, yet the song never seems to take off and constantly remains uneventful. The break by the third minute is cool but again the song seems to lack a sense of direction, and most importantly a climax. And that “Raining Blood” styled outro comes off as completely anticlimactic to say the least.
With six minutes gone and such little warmth coming from their passing, one would then expect the next song, “God Is Delusion”, to be a real treat. Instead an acoustic guitar tries to bring memories of “Powerstruggle Of Belief”, but ends up sounding way too forced to have a real impact. The riffing employed also doesn’t help, being more interested in an off-kilter groovy stance rather than crushing the listener with its weight. To be honest though this second song is more interesting in terms of the dynamics presented, but it ends up faltering where it counts the most, the riffs. The shifts between the groovy sections and the sped up muscled parts are interesting, but the main backbone comes out as unconvincing and unnatural. And in the end that’s all there is to tell. Twelve minutes and two songs where Convulse come out as an uninspired old band that decided to make a comeback. One would expect such a legacy to have more weight in a new studio work, but much to my dismay Inner Evil fails miserably in being anywhere relevant or even good in today’s world. It just shows a completely insipid face that really isn’t what this band stands for. Do yourself a favour and ignore it.
Originally written for and posted at The Metal Observer