Spawn of Possession


Written by: MST on 08/02/2012 12:37:43

Technical wankery is a term often associated with bands for whom displaying their technical prowess is a prominent goal of their music. The term's only flaw is that it is usually used in a negative way, as if displaying technical prowess somehow automatically reduces the quality of the music. For fans of the genre, the constant changes in drum tempos and patterns, the guitars' movement up and down the scales and the fretless bass doing it's own thing separate from the guitars are important parts of creating the awesome music that is technical death metal.

Spawn of Possession hail from Sweden, and "Incurso" is their third release since their inception in 1997. As was slighty hinted to in the intro to this review, Spawn of Possession play technical death metal, and some very technical stuff at that. Since their last album from 2006 a lot has changed in the band: former drummer Dennis Röndum has taken the role as vocalist, Erlend Caspersen and Henrik Schönström have been brought in as bassist and drummer respectively, and last but not least Christian Müenzner (Obscura, ex-Necrophagist) has joined Jonas Bryssling on guitars. These are two extremely talented guitarists, and even though Bryssling is a founding member you can clearly hear the influence by Müenzner that makes for an obvious comparison to Obscura.

"Incurso" is a 54-minute juggernaut of immensely technical music. Müenzner and Bryssling race through the scales at a velocity that's hard to fathom, and it took me a few listens before I was able to look past the initial impression of chaos to see the countless riff patterns, the recurring hooks and the numerous fantastic solos scattered across "Incurso". But once you get there, you're in for a treat. "Bodiless Sleeper" opens with a recurring riff that I've been completely unable to get out of my head ever since hearing it that blessed second time, "Servitude of Souls" contains a fantastic chorus divided into sections that build up to one another to further emphasize itself, and "The Evangelist" is a 10-minute epic that I have to see live at some point because remembering that monster of a technical song from start to finish is an accomplishment that would take countless hours of rehearsal. And I haven't even gotten to "Apparition" yet, the last song on the album; it sounds like the missing technical song off the last Fleshgod Apocalypse album, and that's a compliment if I ever gave one.

"Incurso" is, naturally, more than two guitarist going crazy. Röndum may have played drums in the band earlier, but his growled vocal lines and occasional screams already sound like an integral part of the band, adding lots to the overall sound of the album. Schönström proves himself to be an excellent replacement for Röndum on drums as he moves smoothly from blasting to thrashy drum beats to slower mid tempo sections and progressive offbeat percussion in a matter of seconds. The only slight let down on the album is that the bass isn't quite loud enough for it to act as a separate entity, but it is audible at times and you can always hear it emphasizing the guitars.

2012 has gotten off to a good start, and I can already say for certain that "Incurso" is going to end up on more Top 10 of 2012-lists than my own. It's got everything a brilliant tech-death album needs and more, and it got me completely hooked right from the get go. I don't count on it letting go in the near future.


Download: Bodiless Sleeper, The Evangelist, Servitude of Souls, Apparition
For The Fans Of: Origin, Obscura, Necrophagist
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.03.2012
Relapse (Cosmos)

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