Conduit in English is a noun, meaning a channel for conveying water, or other kinds of fluid. In this case the spill is rather foul looking, as we are speaking of Finnish underground death metal extremity here. It has leaked through the walls of non-existence, to cause flooding in the TMW headquarters. Everyone is blaming it on us guys, as we are usually spilling beer on the floors, and that Astronautguy dude is even drinking the bloody thing! Blimey! First it was the smell that got us alarmed, but after a while we quite got used to it and now we are mainly washing ourselves in that ungodly aqua and trust me when I say this – it is not making us very enticing beings for the opposite sex.
Alright, metaphorical babbling aside. We are talking of my first review for 2020 here. It is to be filed under death metal from Finland. Yet, NOT so much Finnish death metal as a musical direction, or standard. Actually, this does not fit the stereotype at all. This is more like the odd exception to the rule that defines the norm, if you will. Finnish death metal has had plenty of them in decades gone by, so this one is more like a welcomed change, than a big surprise. Ladies and not-so-very-gentle men, let us introduce to you: Proscription!
In the beginning there was Maveth. Esoteric, blackened death metal from Finland. They were always rather promising, but being a collective of extremely busy individuals (their works included bands like Cryptborn, Unhoped, Phlegein, Horna, True Black Dawn and many others) Maveth was always there, but never really utilized their potential. The band eventually called it quits in 2016. Now it is time for evolutionary step number two, namely Proscription. Featuring former Maveth members, especially vocalist/guitarist Christbutcher, they are all about Maveth was and more.
Like I said earlier on, Proscription does really not sound like Finnish death metal stereotype. Not the least. There’s that fat American death metal production (sharp and fat, but not rotten in sound), infused with the atmospheric, esoteric qualities of Polish extreme metal greats. This stuff does not murder and dissect you at first sight like a beast stuck with rabies. It rather looms in the shadows and waits to devour your mind and soul. This is the eerie stuff. The nightmare kind.
Musically the album, “Conduit”, is natural evolution from where Maveth stopped. If you liked them, you will love this one as well. And even you were not their fan at all, Proscription will be easy to pick up to your regular listening habits. This is better sounding, more carefully performed and more professional version of the thing just. Maybe more death metal than Maveth’s blackened hybrid was. Songs like “To Reveal the Words Without Words”, or “Radiant Midnight” are absolute ear candy for the morbid kind, but if I had to pick out the absolute favorites of mine, they would be the macabre, nocturnal dance of title-track “Conduit”, or the creepy “Thy Black Nimbus Gate”. They will get you lured in. Trust me.
Above all, Proscription will be a flying start to Finnish death metal year of 2020. Far above the average with musical performance and composition, they will set the standard for the year to come. With precise drumming, exceptional lead guitar work and convincing vocals they will fast-forward to very top of the international death metal tree with their very first try. For fans of Hate they are a must. For black metal people who claim death metal to be too one-dimensional, they will be refreshing and to an extreme metal fan into quality and non-stereotypical approach they will be a very enjoyable experience indeed. And let me remind you, this is just the first album we are talking here. So now, please welcome: Proscription! Be forewarned!
P.s. The album is coming out through Dark Descent Records and it does not yet have a release date set, so consider this to be an early warning to the thing. Keep your eyes open, as this album really deserves to be heard.
Rating – 4/5