Country : Australia Label : Indépendant Genres and styles : Black Metal / Death Metal / Progressive Metal Year : 2024

Convulsing – Perdurance

· by Laurent Bellemare

I’m convinced that a one-man band cannot truly excel without a certain artistic intransigence, one that leaves no room for the contributions of others. A recent conversation with Convulsing’s creator, Brendan Sloan, indeed confirmed that the project results from a desire to realize his vision without compromise. Through the now-familiar aesthetic of dissonant death metal, Perdurance reveals ambitious, meticulously constructed and surprisingly sensitive compositions.          

Entirely composed, performed and produced by Sloan, this third Convulsing album is built around familiar techniques and codes: dissonant chords, oppressive, angular riffs, chromaticism, vertiginous structures and incoercible percussion. What sets Perdurance apart from other albums in the genre, however, is its sense of narrative and the emotional palette used to paint this delirious decay. Indeed, the dense pieces that make up the album are woven together with a remarkable mastery of tension and release, with sinuous progressions that move easily from the most anxiety-inducing disharmony to melodies oozing with melancholy.    

Sloan’s guitar reflexes may be muscular, Morbid Angel-like, but Convulsing’s music leaves plenty of room for vulnerability. This is particularly noticeable in the vocals, which frequently stray from their low, roaring register to reveal cries of despair. On a few occasions, vocal imperfections and breaks are retained to preserve the humanity behind the monstrous vocals. The end of ‘flayed’ is particularly poignant in this respect, as Sloan can be heard catching his breath in the silence after a dense, brutal five-minute sonic assault.     

All in all, Perdurance places Convulsing at the top of its game, with the language of the darkest death metal skilfully filtered through the techniques and methods of progressive music. But it’s the cohesion of ideas and the emotionally charged performance that make this album memorable.

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