Spawn of Possession


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If Spawn of Possession's current rate of exponential album release dates holds true, then the follow-up to this six-years-in-the-making third opus will keep their fans waiting -- gulp! -- a dozen more years? Not that this scenario is really likely to take place and not that a healthy grasp of mathematics won't come in handy for anyone digging into 2012's absolutely brain-twisting Incurso, but it could take about that long for listeners to digest every last musical detail, nuance, and ingredient utilized here by these Swedish technical death metal masters. Certainly, a little bit of patient perseverance is required before the vaguest architecture of these songs comes into focus (see the evocative album art for a fair visualization of this process), yet these ultimately prove themselves much more than sheer instrumental prowess run amok in the band's rehearsal space. Introductory stage-setter "Abodement" is a suitably grandiose pronouncement of the controlled fury and calculated madness about to spew like some kind of rapid-fire programming code out of "Where Angels Go, Demons Follow," "Servitude of Souls," and "Spiritual Deception" -- all of them featuring lyrics far more complex and unpredictable than their titles may suggest. As a result of this constant intellectual challenge, the gentle finale to mid-album epic "The Evangelist" feels like a half-marathon's hard-won trophy; the memorable resolutions nestled within the wild ride of "Deus Avertat" like flashes of enlightenment; and the regal synthesizer orchestrations framing "Apparition" like a creative high-water mark capping the whole enterprise and posing fascinating questions for what may come next. Simply put: Incurso shows Spawn of Possession in full bloom, delivering state-of-the-art technical death metal that won't disappoint all those who waited so long for its arrival.

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