"Evil Prevails"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Back in action after an 18 year layoff, Convulse keeps the flag of Finnish death metal flying high. Is this just another cash-in attempt by an old band trying to scrape a few more cents from their fans? No, I don't think so, the conviction in the music is there and having seen them perform live at Maryland Deathfest 2013, I know they can still pack a punch. "Evil Prevails" is made to satisfy the early 90's death metal fan but I was hoping for maybe a little bit more.

The first Convulse album "World Without God" has acquired the reputation of a DM classic and rightfully so, but personally I was much more challenged and satisfied by their radical followup "Reflections", where they mixed some psychedelic, punk and melodic elements into the mix with ground-breaking results. Every now and then, I still break "Reflections" out and jam on it. But "Evil Prevails" is much more aimed towards the "Walking Dead/End of the world" apocalyptic sort of death metal fan. And I feel they kind of missed a chance there. This is a nice album for nostalgic death fans, but not ground-breaking in the style of "Reflections". I'm sure the band is now throwing up their hands and smacking their heads...they probably don't feel they can please everybody.

The tone is dark and the tunes are very heavy and moody, but not brutal to the point of insanity. The songs are to the point and don't outlast their welcome, which is a relief...the album "epic", "God Is Delusion", is not even seven minutes long. Elsewhere, there's a mixture of dank and dripping doom with fast thrash like riffing and Rami Jamsa's extremely guttural singing. Some of the structures are odd in that jazzy, melodic breaks show up at weird times, like the conclusion of "Unholy War" and "God Is Delusion"...maybe a tip of the hat to some of the "Reflections" era? It's a smooth yet grim listen, but I'd say only "Oceans of Dust" and the title track rise to the status of excellent.

So Convulse is back and "Evil Prevails" will likely satisfy fans of "World Without God". Hopefully their next album will seem the addition of more unique elements I know the band is capable of.