"Poison Words" by The Convalescence (Toledo, OH)/Deathcore/Released April 2016
Toledo, OH metal monsters The Convalescence got their start as a side project in the spring of 2011. With their diverse sound and striking image the six piece swiftly gained popularity and festival slots. Over their career the band has shared the stage with notable acts such as Otep, Mushroomhead, All Shall Perish, and Cattle Decapitation among others. Their most recent release, 2016′s Poison Words, is The Convalescence’s third full length album in follow up to their 2014 album The Process.
Despite the band’s image of all black clothing and black metal corpse paint, their sound draws from a wide array of metal influences including death metal, metalcore, industrial, deathcore, and thrash. You’re just as likely to hear aggressive blast beats as you are djent grooves not only throughout the album but in the same song. However the group keeps a consistent sound filled with aggression and style.
While The Convalescence put a big focus on groove with their previous album The Process, the band has moved to a more balanced approach between grooves and blistering speed riffs. The vocals are just as dynamic with front man Keith Wampler delivering powerful growls and black metal high screams with adept control and discernible lyrics. Clean vocals are still sparsely used despite quality use of them on songs such as “Reflections” and “Watch Them Burn”. The band definitely focuses on the heavy first and foremost.
The first two songs of Poison Words are the pure, fast paced deathcore offerings of “I, Dreamer” and “Gazing Into Oblivion” with the latter also taking some hints from the melodic death metal sounds of bands like In Flames. With the third track “Faceless” the band starts to display its diversity with groovy djent riffs and electronic elements giving the song an industrial touch. The title track “Poison Words” plays almost like a three and a half minute breakdown with a chuggy, mid tempo main riff throughout the majority of the song and keys adding a distinct element to the song’s ending. “Reflections” is a definite high point of the album with its constant changes in speed and rhythm, catchy guitar work, and an unexpected earworm of a cleanly sung chorus. “The Mouth Of Hell” features haunting keys intercut with some of the fastest and most aggressive instrumentation of the album. “Lifeless In The Waves” has some of the grooviest playing of the record but still balances that with moments of blast beats and swift picking and a brief clean vocal performance from keyboardist Katie McCrimmon.
The Convalescence has displayed a great degree of growth with Poison Words and has managed to streamline their diverse influences into a more balanced package this time around. Never a band to be put into a box, the group displays mastery of several different styles that keep their compositions multi-faceted. This diversity of sound with their adherence to metal aggression is sure to appeal to a wide range of fans. With their constant touring schedule The Convalescence will only continue to grow to become a bigger force in the world of metal.