It may have taken a hefty handful of months short of three decades for German death metallers Convictors to unleash their first album but boy has it been worth the wait. To be fair there has not been a constant presence from the band in the metal scene over that time, twenty one of those years coming between its break-up in 1987 and their subsequent reunion. In many ways this is now a new band to contemplate for most with releases like Envoys Of Extinction for all to greedily devour. Without maybe springing any startling surprises, the album is a rigorously fresh and persistently vital proposition marking out its creators as another bringing old school death metal into a voraciously modern landscape.
Inspired by bands like Possessed and Slayer, Convictors was formed by four friends back in 1986. It was a short lived presence spawning just The Last Judgement demo that first year before through musical differences the band broke up. Reuniting under a wave of new interest in 2008, the Lörrach hailing quartet released the five-track Abdication Of Humanity EP a year later. Well-received, its success was followed in 2010 by the formation of the band’s current line-up with bassist Samuel Maier and drummer Daniel Zuflucht coming in to link up with founder members of guitarist Lasse and vocalist Fabian Frey. Starting work on Envoys Of Extinction in 2011, with a taster in the song Epitome Of Decay coming that same year, the band recently unleashed their beast of a first album and as mentioned a formidable treat it has turned out to be.
From its first breath Envoys Of Extinction is rattling cages and igniting the senses, the opening virulence of Preparedness 101 a raucously spicy tease of guitar swiftly punctuated by thunderous beats and a bestial bassline. In no time at all the track is rampaging with controlled but hungry strides into the imagination, riffs and grooves colluding to tempt appetite and rhythms combining to batter the senses. It is a resourcefully tantalising persuasion fuelling the track, as contagious as it is intimidating with the guttural roars of Frey magnetic within the similarly alluring creative web cast by Lasse.
The tremendous start is emulated by Epitome Of Decay, an even more predatory and threatening imposition on the senses but again with an infectious craft and endeavour to reward the listener’s bravery. It has a heavy doom bred air which smothers song and ears but it is a smog which still allows melodies to tempt and grooves to seduce without hindrance, a blend just as striking and pleasing in Angel Of Impurity. The third song in many ways plays with a broader landscape of sound and imagination, something which is explored further in the latter part of the album. The guitar alone is brimming with a diversity of ideas and tones flirting perfectly with the great throaty snarl of the bass. The opening stretch of the song is simply glorious, a highlight alone but only the appetiser to the raging pestilential hostility of the outstanding encounter which prowls rather than ravages its victims, but stalks them throughout whilst dangling sonic lures and barbarous temptations.
Things only increase in potency and adventure from here on in, the visceral opening to Let Malevolence Arise leading to a blistering corrosive aural savagery with dark and ravenous cinematic qualities whilst its successor Festering Infestation Strikes is a more single minded old school death scourge which still leaves no rapacious groove and rhythmic spite unearthed, and is prone to some great swinish vocal colouring.
Both tracks light the passions but it is with the closing stretch that the album finds another depth of excitement in the passions, starting with the excellent Proclivity. It is a maelstrom of spicy sonic invention, a controlled but voracious epidemic of addictive grooving and deep rooted hooks to incite a lustful response. Its might is straight away matched by the incendiary canter of Diabolical Female where every syllable comes with a dose of primal coaxing and note with a drenching of salacious hunger. It is a delicious stomp of a track, death metal in its most infectious and welcoming form.
Fragments brings the album to a fine close, though there is a hidden surprise in its shadows later on. The song is a tempestuous furnace of haunting melodies courting a corruptive fury, the latter blustering itself around riveting bass baiting and another crippling assault of Zuflucht’s skills. Maybe not quite matching its predecessors, it still leaves emotions brimming and ears basking, not forgetting ringing as silence engulfs the senses at its potent end.
Convictors has finally got to the point its members were obviously aiming for all those years ago, and such the impressive nature and presence of Envoys Of Extinction, surely it is just the beginning for the band.
Envoys Of Extinction is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/envoys-of-extinction/id930003515
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