Spawn of Possession - _Incurso_
(Relapse Records, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (8.5 out of 10)
Fuck it, I love it already. One of the qualities which first drew me to heavy metal was its tenacity. I enjoyed listening to music which was faster and harder than the current styles I was accustomed with. While heavy metal has always had its extreme varieties, technical death metal has always ventured to the far end of the spectrum. Faster, harder, stronger and more inaccessible than the majority of metal, tech-death makes itself available to a specific fanbase. These people are usually drummers and also metal listeners who have also shed their last desires for calming music. Tech-death, along with drone, grindcore and lo-fi black metal, are the hard drugs of the metal world. Both are reached after a long succession of prerequisites and both will certainly raise eyebrows when broached at a party. Before I dig myself further with this hard drug analogy, let us move onto Spawn of Possession.

Sweden has always been a respectable place for death metal, but Spawn of Possession is relatively new, with their debut marked at 2003. For the better part of ten years, Spawn of Possession has received critical if underwhelming praise for their two releases _Cabinet_ and _Noctambulent_. While the band has always had a revolving cast of members, the late '00s was a huge era for lineup changes. Besides Jonas Bryssling and Deniss Rondum, the rest of Spawn of Possession was replaced. Additionally, the band moved to Relapse Records and underwent a sizable media campaign for the new record. It is 2012, and by all accounts, this is a new band with a fresh yet terrifying second wind.

One of the most noticeable changes in the band's sound is the addition of Obscura / Necrophagist guitarist Christian Muenzner. While longtime collaborator Jonas Karlsson's guitar work has always been decent, Muenzner's leads and solos become its own entity which then engages in a dynamic relationship with the rest of the music. _Incurso_ takes the best parts of Spawn of Possession and makes a fantastic portfolio to be shopped around to a larger audience. There are few times, besides the exquisite closer "Apparition", where the tempo drops below manic. Within this insanity, however, are small yet crafted layers of subtlety. Without sacrificing an inch of brutality or integrity, the band has reached a critical stage in album making. Behold your mental unraveling.

While _Incurso_ is more accessible to new listeners, it is still 52 minutes of relentless tech-death. The lyrics are a horrifying mixture of religious themed occultism with Lovecraftian consequences. Halfway through the album is "The Evangelist", which is a nine minute summit of cascading drum fills and unchained guitar solos. If the listeners find themselves passing though this checkpoint with ease, the rest of the album should be a breeze. If they find themselves unable to get through this pivotal track, then they have to go back to the beginning and start again. This is an important album and we are staying here until you enjoy it.


(article published 2/4/2012)

10/30/2003 B Meloon 10 Spawn of Possession - Cabinet
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