Incurso Will Devour Your Soul
Thursday, July 5, 2012 Leave a comment
For fans of Necrophagist, Obscura, The Faceless and Origin
I’m going to start off by saying HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT THE ALBUM ARTWORK!!! It’s like H.P. Lovecraft combined his worst nightmares with the darkest and most horrifying secrets of the universe, which subsequently birthed a creature so vile that its very existence is a fundamental contradiction of logic. Seriously, don’t stare at it too long, you’ll lose your mind.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I have good news! Spawn of Possession released a new album after five years. The reason it took so damn long is because, in typical European death metal fashion, they’ve implemented some massive lineup changes. They added German lead guitarist Christian Muenzner (ex-Necrophagist, currently with Obscura), Norwegian bassist Erlend Caspersen (currently with Blood Red Throne), while former drummer Dennis Rondum returned to take over vocal duties and Henrik Schonstrom was commissioned to pick up the drumsticks. A personnel shift like that is bound to exacerbate things. Even the fact that half of the band members are with other bands AND they’re scattered all over Europe didn’t faze them. So after an assload of work, Spawn of Possession released Incurso at the end of March. And goddammit, it’s without a doubt one of the greatest technical death metal albums ever released. Oh yes, I went there.
I honestly don’t even know where to begin. This record contains everything that even the most jaded of metal elitists would want to satisfy their auditory palate. Take a listen to “Where Angels Go Demons Follow,” and you’ll understand (hopefully) why this album is giving me such a massive erection.
If you thought that song was sexy, there are eight more that are just as amazing, if not better. I’m going to make a sweeping generalization and say that most technical death metal bands put a heavy focus on the guitar. It’s almost their way of saying “I’m a way better musician than you are, and I’m going to show off my talent. By the way, fuck you.” And I honestly have no problem with that. The guitar in this album is pure insanity. Christian Muenzner has already established himself as one of Germany’s premier lead Metal guitarists (see Obscura and Necrophagist), and now that he’s working with SoP, his skill and versatility truly shine. The neo-jazz, classical and metal influences come together beautifully, and add a unique dynamic into the mix that few can recreate.
To complement the sonic assault of Jonas Bryssling (the rhythm guitarist) and Christian Muenzner, the bass performance of Erlend Caspersen is also a true thing of beauty. He uses his bass as more than just a foundation for the guitars, which shows especially in the song “Deus Avertat.” While the guitars and the drums are running wild, he matches it dead-on with his bass. Every so often the music will stop, and he’ll shred a crazy little flare that grabs your attention and makes you say, “Wait, did I just hear a bass solo?” In addition, the drumming is almost inhuman. The constant tempo changes and dynamic shifts are executed flawlessly by Henrik Schonstrom, proving that he is either a robot or a demon. Most likely a demon, because of the lyrical content. Speaking of which…
Something that people tend to ignore in metal is the lyrical content, which we can owe to the gore-soaked imagery of bands like Cannibal Corpse. It’s always a small victory (for me, anyway) when a band’s lyrics are something more than “I WANT TO STAB YOUR PENIS AND FEED IT TO MY DOG!!” Spawn of Possession luckily steer away from that childish approach, and focus more on telling a story. A very dark, demonic story. The songs are worded in a narrative style, rather than poetic riddles that most artists choose to implement. It gives each track a Lovecraftian horror-like vibe. Check out this excerpt from “Spiritual Deception.”
The old man grinned and whispered/”Things are not at all what they seem. I once brought forth a demon/That had its way with your wife one night, her uterus defiled/Raped by the demon, befouled all heaven’s light/Please, close your eyes and come inside my home.”
If you think that’s fucked up, you need to read the lyrics for “The Evangelist,” which is the most epic song on the album. It’s a nearly ten minute-long haunted roller coaster of pure madness and beauty. I’m not going to list the lyrics because I don’t want you to cry. It’s one of the only songs on the album that isn’t about demons or people’s souls being taken, but it’s still downright shocking. Basically every track is twisted and disturbing in its own manner, which only adds to the insanity of this album.
For those of you who aren’t fans of the genre, this album probably sounds very dense and chaotic. That’s okay, it just means that it’s just too damn awesome for you. This type of music isn’t made for the casual listener, and certainly isn’t something you can play in the background at a party. It’s fast, precise and deeply refined. It takes a real metal fan to appreciate the intricacies and the complex songwriting that these dudes create. Incurso truly is a masterpiece, and will definitely give a stern reminder to the metal world that Spawn of Possession is back, and better than ever.
Standout tracks: “Where Angels Go Demons Follow,” “The Evangelist,” “Deus Avertat,” and “Apparition.” But seriously, every single song on this album is fucking amazing.