Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review:Convul- سأكون رؤيتكم (I'll Be Seeing You)


One of the most gratifying things about music of all kinds is the sense of wonder and discovery it still holds. Finding new bands that move you is something that never loses excitement with age, and not many things are more satisfying then when a release you are excited for ends up not only meeting but far surpassing your expectations. Such is the case with Convul's (shortened from their former moniker Convulsions) debut LP. Their previous EP's as well as their excellent split with Black Kites had no trouble catching my attention with their melting pot of genres, from chaotic metallic hardcore to atmospheric/doom influenced metal and many things inbetween, but ever since I heard the first released song and opening track of the LP "Dream Walker" I had a feeling this was going to be something special, and it seems my feeling was dead on. These 6 tracks are fully meant to be taken as a whole listening experience, as they transition seamlessly into each other and were recorded in a live session at the outstanding Machines With Magnets studios, responsible for releases from many varying talents including Battles, Daughters and Verse among others. Speaking of the recording, it is an achievement in itself, with every instrument and vocal line sounding crystal clear all while maintaining a raw and organic quality lacking in many recordings. Through the roughly 35 minute journey the band flirts with ambitious new ground, from chaotic yet melodic bursts of the furious hardcore they became known for on earlier EP's to crushing slow sections that are both ridiculously catchy and heavy while also atmospheric, almost allowing for room to breathe between the more chaotic sections. The vocals sound especially great on this record and have a refreshing amount of variation, from screams somewhat comparable to genre greats Converge to gruff southern style singing. The two part "Monolith" (II and IV, respectively) songs that comprise the middle of the album are an incredible highlight, building upon a crushing and lengthy post metal/sludge section that is practically hypnotic and trance inducing. Second to last track "From My Sight" is a return to the faster, chaotic sound the band perfected on their earlier EP's, and sets the stage for the incredible closing track "Harp". This song is the ambitious closing track of an already lofty album, with almost as many twists and turns as all 5 of the songs that precede it.This 11 minute epic Begins with atmospheric and spacey guitar, and softly sung lines before the distortion/drums come in on a moment of the album that still gives me chills every time I hear it. It can't be overstated enough that this is a band that truely follows their own path and thinks outside the box I can't recall a time that I have heard such a mix of genres put together so seamlessly, pulling from many influences while at the same time fully it's own beast. This is one of those rare records that was crafted with lofty ambitions and manages to succeed fully with flying colors. Convul are a band NO fan of forward thinking hardcore/metal should overlook, I'll Be Seeing You is a masterpiece and one of the definitive highlights in an already stellar year, and a record that may very well end up being my favorite release of the year. An absolutely essential listen.