BrooklynVegan is currently streaming Deathstar, the latest full-length from Finnish progressive death metal pioneers CONVULSE, in its entirety. The premiere comes in advance of the record’s official release this Friday, October 30th via Transcending Records.
Fusing the prime tenets of death metal, heavy rock, and prog into something innovative and enticing, the near forty-one-minute masterwork presents nine tracks that transcend the boundaries of standard death metal. Arguably picking up where the band’s underrated 1994 Reflections full-length left off, Deathstar adopts a similar genre-bending approach and modernizes it.
Comments guitarist/vocalist Rami Jämsä, “The Deathstar album process took three years. We continued rehearsing weekly after the Cycle Of Revenge release in 2016, because we have found a natural way to express ourselves as a trio and new song motifs kept on coming. You can definitely hear this progress on Deathstar. We have become more mature and confident about what we want to do. When we started to rehearse and record the new album, we didn’t have a record deal. We just had a passion to play and record. We [saved] money to cover proper studio costs in an excellent analog studio with a professional recording and mixing engineer. We always like to work together and have a real album recording and mixing sessions instead of some bedroom sessions. I think all went smoothly, but of course it took a lot of time and there were stressful moments too during the whole process. Lyrically Deathstar is a concept album about the condition of humanity and our planet. Only ‘We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘N’ Roll’ track breaks this concept. Deathstar will be an interesting experience for anyone who listens to music without genre limitations. It includes music that I would like to listen myself.”
Adds BrooklynVegan, “The new album finds CONVULSE in fine form, continuing down their path of pairing vicious death metal with bright rock riffs and proggy tendencies.”
Stream CONVULSE’s Deathstar via BrooklynVegan at THIS LOCATION.
Deathstar was recorded and mixed in analog at JJ-studio with Juuso Nordlund and comes enveloped in the art of Jan Yrlund, based on the painting Strangled by Minna Mead.
Deathstar will be released on CD, limited-edition deluxe CD, digital, cassette, and vinyl formats. For physical preorders in North America, go to THIS LOCATION, for European orders, go to THIS LOCATION and for digital orders, go HERE.
When Finland’s first death metal boom started in the late 1980s/early 1990s, 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 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]
“Deathstar continues to go above and beyond the parameters of ‘standard’ death metal, melding goosebump-inducing DM growls and gurgles with music that’s jammier and more freewheeling, if no less expertly composed. Trust us: Deathstar was worth the wait.” — MetalSucks
“Agile in creating bridges between death metal, groove, prog and classic rock, CONVULSE really have to go down in history – and perhaps it’s time!” — Metal Hammer Portugal
“… one of the most varied and creative [albums] to hit the scene in a long time.” – RTMB Music
“…a catchy, complex, and occasionally mystifying record from the first notes of ‘Extreme Dark Light’ to the closing acoustics of ‘The End’…” — Metal Crypt
“…be prepared for mind-warping soundscapes and ethereal excellence.” — Nattskog
“…Imagine a big jam session with musicians from Pink Floyd, Rush, Porcupine Tree, and Judas Priest, but every now and then a somewhat shy alternate-universe version of George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher steps to the mic to deliver some vocals… …a brilliant record!” – Dutch Metal Maniac
“It’s a heavy, roaring, melodic ripper that lives up to its name, combining a classic death metal rawness with a mesmerizing, hook-laden sensibility. True to progressive fashion, it’s a journey of a song in just five minutes, soaring through different intricate movements without losing its power.” – Treble on “Whirlwind”