Friday, August 24, 2012

Spawn Of Possession - Incurso

Spawn Of Possession
Incurso
Relapse Records

Within the technical death metal realm, Swedish (Kalmar based) outfit Spawn Of Possession may not be the most well known or prolific of acts, but they have earned the respect of followers with their two full-length efforts to date. It’s been six long years since the release of their critically acclaimed ‘Noctambulant’ (Neurotic Records) effort, but after several line-up changes and move to a new label, Spawn Of Possession are back with their long awaited third album ‘Incurso’.
Given how strong their last album was, the six years in-between then and now and the band’s revamped line-up (Now comprising of vocalist Dennis Röndum, new lead guitarist Christian Münzner (Ex-Necrophagist/Obscura), rhythm guitarist Jonas Bryssling, new bassist Erlend Caspersen (Ex-Blood Red Throne/Deeds Of Flesh) and new/Incapacity drummer Henrik Schönström), there was some concern that the band would have changed somewhere along the way, and that their latest studio effort would inevitably disappoint. But contrary to my initial reservations, Spawn Of Possession have returned in a major way, and delivered an album that surpasses anything the band has delivered before.
The album starts out with a very foreboding and slow paced instrumental piece entitled ‘Abodement’, which eventually bleeds into the follow-up track ‘Where Angels Go Demons Follow’. It becomes immediately clear that Spawn Of Possession have lost none of their firepower or technical finesse. If anything, the band have stepped everything up another rung, with the vast array of stellar guitar riffs and solos from the Münzner/Bryssling partnership delivered throughout the song, and Röndum sounding as brutal as ever with his combined growls and scream/growl harmonies.
In retaliation to the brutality of the former track, ‘Bodiless Sleeper’ sees the band slowing things down a touch by focussing more on grooves and melody (Without forsaking any of the relentless aggression the band are known for), while on the epic ten minute ‘The Evangelist’ sees the band throw everything at the listener, with only the last couple of minutes of the song offering anything in the way of a respite from the onslaught of fast paced death metal carnage.
‘Servitude Of Souls’ and ‘Spiritual Deception’ maintain a strong sense of groove and melody, while tracks such as ‘Deus Avertat’, ‘No Light Spared’ (Which features a guest solo from former guitarist Jonas Karlsson) and the fantastic closer ‘Apparition’ (Which features some fantastic orchestrated keyboards throughout to give it a huge sound) are a blur of technical flash and pure venom.
Spawn Of Possession has never been the most prolific of acts, but they’ve always been highly regarded with what they’ve offered. And while the band has undergone some major changes in the last few years, they’ve come out the other side to emerge with ‘Incurso’ – which alongside Obscura’s ‘Omnivium’ from earlier in the year, will easily stand as one of 2012’s best death metal releases.

For more information on Spawn Of Possession, check out - http://spawnofpossession.bandcamp.com/

© Justin Donnelly