Release length: 12:05
Psrt of the underground series, this CD single through Relapse Records was recorded in eight hours in Costelle Studios according to the information on the back of the cardboard sleeve, which is actually quite impressive considering the single is only two tracks, but back then studio time was costly, and bands were not held up in a studio like they are now for nearly a week to complete a full album. The production quality is slightly raw, but still clear enough for it’s time, much like other early Relapse releases from bands like Amorphis. The guitars have a raw sharpness to them, giving the music a nice edge while the bass makes it a little more blunt as it moreso hammers at the listener. The drumming is good, though the bass had a bit of a lower thurd that really can get lost in the mix and even becomes rather inaudible. But in the end, that doesn’t really matter much since there’s a solid snare performance that backs up the bass, and a guttural performance that isn’t quite that deep, more on par with the sharper guitar’s levels then anything else.
The single starts off with “Lost Equilibrium” which kicks off more with a slower paced atmospheric output that eventually picks up into a normal song. While the track length is about eight minutes, Convulse manages to really draw out that slower atmospheric element of the song to make the track longer. While this may not be the greatest of concepts, given the rawer nature of the song it actually works well and sets a somewhat melancholid and depressive tone to the Death Metal. Of course, when the song picks up past that instrumental atmosphere, the speeds vary from slow to mid-tempo, and the depressive environments remain while the guitars hammer away with a nice amount of intensity, though sometimes the guitars can feel a little more Hard Rock oriented, primarily during some of the bridges that occur after that half way point of the song. You also get the track “Memories” which is more of a Death Metal song that is largely composed of those more Hard Rock oriented guitars, except on here they come off a little more Punk, maybe even Crossover Thrash depending on how take the music being played. It’s not bad, but coming off the rather grim “Lost Equilibrium”, it becomes a little more of a questionable choice for a follow-up track. The song has a more upbeat atmosphere to it, and the gutturals feel a little out of place with it.
Lost Equilibrium makes for an interesting release due to it’s mixture of that Hard Rock sound that one could take as Punk or even a Melodic Death Metal influence at times, but in the end the two songs ultimately clash, and it’s pretty rough at times. Neither song is bad, but it’s just coming off a grim song to a more upbeat yet heavier sound is just a bit too hard to swallow. If you have never heard Lost Equilibrium before, it’s a single that’s well worth checcking out, but not worth spending a lot of money on. If you can look past the transition between one sound to another with the tracks, you may enjoy this a little more, and given the more melodic and Rock elements to the recording, this underground effort would have been something that might have helped to influence the whole Melodic Death Metal movement had it been more then just a random single with a small run. While it’s not an important piece of history, it’s still an album that is interesting for it’s time, and makes for a nice collectable piece if you happen on the original. It’s not really something you’d recommend to the guys who much prefer traditional Death Metal sounds, but if you have an open mind, it may just tickle your fancy a little more then you would think.
01. Lost Equilibrium – 8:00
02. Memories – 4:08
|Overall Score: 7.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.