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Album Review: CORPSESSED Impetus of Death

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In the overcrowded subway car that is death metal in 2018, Corpsessed is the band you don't mind being shoved into. On their latest album, Impetus of Death, the Finnish outfit have refined their sound to a crisp and cohesive force of dark death metal. Their previous album, Abysmal Thresholds, was a fun and noisy album, packed with tons of grime and reverb for fans of cavernous horror. Fear not, swamp dwellers, there's still plenty for you to like on Impetus of Death.

Sure, Corpsessed has cleared away some of the cobwebs and mud from their sound, but only to make room for the real monster to emerge. That great and terrible beast represents a cross-breeding of two forces. One is the classic sound of Finnish death metal: Amorphis' first album, Demigod, and Convulse. The other is the outright sludge and doom-laden sound of more contemporary bands like Vorum, Cruciamentum, Krypts, and Funebrarum. Add the obligatory nods to Both Thrower, Incantation—and perhaps just a bit of Runemagick—and you get a good idea of where this band is coming from.

The band's brand of death metal is on the less technical side, emphasizing atmosphere over showing technique, but still being strong enough on the low end of things to not accidentally slip into black metal territory. And while there are tons of E-string riffs that guide many of the songs here, the band isn't quite in the Incantation-worshipping camp of bands like Drawn and Quartered and Dead Congregation. The Finnish scene always produced bands with a good mind for dynamics, with songs that manage to maintain a consistent mood while containing lots of different bridges and unexpected time changes (again, without noodling things into an unmemorable tech-death mess).

Songs like "Endless Plains of Dust" and "Paroxysmal" billow clouds of black smoke into your mind, and then transport you to lands of sonic terror through the interplay between the rhythm and lead guitars. There are so many great riffs on this album, all positioned for the maximum compositional effect, and woven together with equally varied drum parts, and crushing low vocals. Everything is where it should be in these songs. But that doesn't mean the music is safe or boring. Everything makes sense here but stays engaging, and that's VERY hard to accomplish.

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TL;DR- The guys in Corpsessed are excellent songwriters.

This must be partially due to their intelligent take on death as an inspirational muse:

Death itself that sets things in motion, be it the fear or lurking presence of your own demise, or the death of a loved one. It can be seen as a force that moves us and sets a timeline for our very existence. This you can view as either something very grim and nihilistic or on the contrary, the very thing that gives your life a meaning or the power to do anything. To create you must also destroy – ‘solve et coagula’ right? – where death gives birth to something new…This is life, and death is an essential part of it. And the music we play, is DEATH METAL so what’s more fitting than this?

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I'm not sure I've ever heard a clearer and more convincing statement of purpose for death metal. In fact, if you're ever having an argument with someone who is not into this music, who's turned off by the style's morbid penchant for the grim and "negative," just read them that quote. Meanwhile, if you're hanging with your friends looking for some of the best death metal of 2018 to blast the remnants of this year away: tell them to listen to Corpsessed.

Score: 9/10

Favorite songs: "Impetus of the Dead," "Begetter of Doom," "Endless Plains of Dust," and "Paroxysmal"

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