Spawn Of Possession: Incurso
15/08/12 || The Duff
Six years I’ve awaited this beast, the follow-up to my favourite tech-death record of all time. What we find is a remorselessly unapologetic Swedish outfit picking up where it left off, unhindered by any changes to the scene since its last mark on it. Funnily enough, this works spectacularly because, let’s face it, none sound like SoP.
There have been some changes to the line-up. Soloist extraordinaire Karlsson tired of maintaining the same practice regime day after day (but contributed a solo on track “No Light Spared”, and er, yeah, hasn’t really lost his knack). Dennis Rondum just couldn’t be fucked with learning the drums to a new Spawn of Possession album yet kindly took over the vocal duties of ex-vocalist Renvaktar, who left along with the bassist Dewerud. Leaving Bryssling as sole dude and main writer.
With other life obligations, Bryzz took his time with the follow-up to arguably the most influential modern tech death metal record next to “Epitaph”, wanting to, in the words of Rondum (I think), “write the most epic material of his life”. Well, that’s essentially what we have with “Incurso”, with very minor additional influences that won’t leave SoP fans frenziedly grappling at the letters “TWF” on their keyboards.
This is still very much the neo-classical merged with rapid-fire death plus Gorguts we’re all familiar with, with a very dry production and not the most gain-driven guitars (guitars being the focal point of the album and hence wanting to sound uber-tight), but occasionally they move into a more “lush” variety of tech death (I stress very rarely) more akin to Obscura. No surprise, Karlsson, soloist-extraordinaire, has been replaced here by Muenzner of Obscura, and some of his influence has probably seeped in a touch; as a lead guitar player, the guy is exceptional.
While I dig the Hell out of ex-guitar-player Karlsson’s flare, rapid-burst on-the-brink-of-flailing and exceptionally phrased leads, Muenzner is on a different playing field – the guy can play absolutely anything, note-for-note absolutely perfect, and phrasing is as natural as it comes. As for the drums, new drummer Henrik fills in Rondum’s shoes spectacularly, the latter having overviewed the writing of “Incurso” and thus still having had an input as to how the drums on a new SoP record should sound.
This record has a lot more open space to it (as mentioned, this is tech death on a grand scale, even with the shorter tracks which all pretty much over 5 minutes long), the drums allow the music to breathe. Overall, “Incurso” is more about atmosphere than riffs, although yeah, every riff is flawless; briefly put, the songwriting is flawless (every track has been composed as if to tell its own individual story). This incarnation of the band is a supergroup, yet honestly I have no idea where it came from six years in and bettering something like the “Noctambulant” line-up.
This band has always been about the excess with fluid compositions, a real tough balance to strike, but really they’ve upped themselves once more. Minor developments in sound, better riffs, more epic in scope, grandiose orchestral sections and tracks over eight minutes long is always a good way to return after a prolonged absence – this is a superior record to “Noctambulant”, but for me, it isn’t better; don’t know why, it’s not like the band isn’t still pushing the envelope or evolving for that matter.
All said you can’t go wrong with this, a perfect record and one of the best death metal records of the last twenty years, as with “Noctambulant”.
And Pär Olofsson fucks your kids for breakfast. So does Erlend Caspersen.
- Released: 2012
- Label: Relapse Records
- Website: Spawn of Possession MySpace
- Erlend Caspersen: bass
- Dennis Röndum: vocals
- Jonas Bryssling: guitars
- Christian Münzner: guitars
- Henrik Schönström: drums
- 01. Abodement
- 02. Where Angels Go Demons Follow
- 03. Bodiless Sleeper
- 04. The Evangelist
- 05. Servitude of Souls
- 06. Deus Avertat
- 07. Spiritual Deception
- 08. No Light Spared
- 09. Apparition