Quite soon after getting to know Xysma, I started seeing the name of Convulse mentioned here and there, but hunting down their material even in the virtual jungle proved challenging. After stumbling upon one or two of their later day tracks that were a delightful finding with their xysmic rocking, I soon managed to purchase the second album Reflections on CD for a ridiculous price of 2 euros or so. The debut World Without God wasn’t quite as easy to track down, though, as it seemed like my searches were mostly just turning up posts from the Relapse Records board, where a certain user was persistently pestering the label to do a re-release of the album. However, after I emailed the guy in question, he was kind enough to send me the mp3s he had found, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever been as excited about opening a goddamn bunch of files. It became clear that my high expectations hadn’t been for nothing, as the iconic keyboard intro started creeping down my spine, then launching into the boneheaded brutality and morbid atmosphere that is World Without God.
After more digging, I managed to get my hands on the LP version of the debut for a not-so-hefty price, and as record-nerdy as it may sound, it’s still among the most beloved treasures of my collection, being one of those very first unsung findings – and also one of the greatest albums that the old Finnish scene spawned. In 2010, our purulent prayers were answered, as Relapse finally reissued the album with added demo and live material. Despite the visibly growing interest towards Convulse at the time, I wasn’t at all expecting the band to get back together, so the news about their return struck me with surprise in 2012. However, it had apparently been quite a sudden impulse that had gotten mainman Rami to resuscitate the band as well.
With half of the line-up revised, Convulse performed their first two gigs in twenty years at Finnish summer festivals, the second one of them taking place at Jalometalli in August 2012. Despite my skepticism beforehand, hearing the blasphemous verses and cadaverous chords of World Without God performed live was a mind-devouring experience that I probably hadn’t even dreamed of while headbanging to the album in my room in my underpants. Seeing the band again in an intimate club environment in both the old and the new capital further strengthened my convincement of their ability to do justice to the old material live. Reflections was left untouched, but that felt like a justified decision, as including that material in the set might’ve made it too much of a mish-mash instead of an all-out attack of crushing force.
Convulse hadn’t only gotten back together to play oldies from their youth, but had also concocted some new tunes. While “God Is Delusion” already showed promise when heard the first time live, it wasn’t until the club gigs that I felt the new material really started showing its claws. While continuing loyally from where they left off in 1991, there also seemed to be some refreshing new twists present. Unleashed in early 2013, the two-track MCD/MLP Inner Evil carries a heavy stench of early 90’s, from being recorded with analog equipment to the horrific Luxi Lahtinen artwork excavated from the vaults. With each track clocking circa six minutes, they pummel away with a bit more complexity than the shorter strikes of the debut, yet still carry that morbid, hungry darkness in their wake. I’m not expecting another World Without God from this Nokia lot [and in case anybody was left wondering; the guys aren’t known from a cellphone commercial or anything, but come from the city by the same name], but as long as they continue delivering gigs and releases of this caliber, they have my suppurating support.
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