Convocation – Scars Across

Again from Finland come echoes of dark and introspective sounds. The way of expressing an uneasiness, more or less accentuated, in those lands has had different faces in the past, starting from the most melodic dark to push to funeral or other forms of doom more extreme, all through the innate talent of musicians able to represent that melancholic mood that, right or wrong, is associated to an entire people. The one chosen by Convocation is something not too catalogued, even if doom certainly constitutes the preponderant base: In fact, we find slow cadences and a progression marked by rare but significant glimmers of light, going in this sense towards the most extremist forms of funeral, in line with the sound of overseas bands (Loss, Lycus and Disembowelment, as suggested by the bio) rather than the northern European ones, even if sometimes there are hints that refer to the immense Colosseum of the late Juhani Palomäki. Four tracks for fifty minutes, four litanies painfully dragging themselves towards an indefinite and nebulous place, as it happens, consciously or not, to everyone’s existence. The burden of the instrumental part is all of Lauri Laaksonen, who we know for his militancy in Desolate Shrine, death metal band really average, while the growl, effective and deadly as it should be, is entrusted to Marko Neuman, vocalist also in the remarkable Dark Buddha Rising: the combination appears perfectly oiled and able to express the genre at its highest levels, confirming as said the Finnish primacy in this field. Disposed opens the album offering almost a quarter of an hour of magnificent funeral, reaching those emotional peaks that fans are looking for, while the following Ruins Of Ourselves appears more animated, with some hints of clean vocals and dissonances that occupy part of the scene. In Allied POWs we can appreciate excellent glimpses of lead guitar, within a sound that becomes partially more melodic and airy, while the final title track somehow returns to the starting point, bringing the sound to the darker tones of Disposed, except for the magnificent and evocative final crescendo that seals a splendid and in some ways unexpected work. It’s not surprising, instead, that Convocation have been scouted by the Italian label Everlasting Spew that, under the banner of the few but good, continues to offer releases of great thickness that can be traced back to less commercial and conventional forms of metal.

2018 – Everlasting Spew Records 2020 – Dawnbreed Records