The Convalescence
 Harvesters of Flesh and Bone  

Unlike my urologist when I was just a little guy, I really dropped the ball here. Don’t think about that one too hard, please. When it comes to The Convalescence, I heard of them but hadn’t listened. On a random Tuesday or Wednesday, I noticed they were playing at my friend’s venue outside of Pittsburgh and decided to go. Not too many others decided to join me, so I was able to talk to main man Keith Wampler for an extended period, discussing their new album, Chris Barnes, and many other topics. This was the first of I believe 3 times I saw The Convalescence this year.

Here’s how I dropped the ball, though. I asked for the promo of the new album, which was finished, but it was still too early to review. He asked me to send him a message and remind him when it was officially announced, and he would send it my way. I didn’t do that. Sorry, brother.

Anyway, Harvesters of Flesh and Bone was worth the wait. Although their brand of symphonic deathcore has almost become its parody, they’ve avoided such a peril. The opening track, which is also the title track, is a statement of intent. The keys in the intro fade into the background once the vocals start, and the riff is furious, giving it more of a symphonic metalcore feel instead of deathcore, but that’s splitting hairs. A guitar solo isn’t the norm with the style, but there’s a quick one.

A little further on, “Bloodletter” has the first guest of the album, Ricky Myers of Suffocation, who released their banger recently. It begins with piano, a gruff opening line, and a brief guitar lead. When Ricky’s vocals start slightly over a minute in, one could be mistaken for thinking it’s Frank Mullen himself, but that’s another story. Ricky gets a feature here instead of the normal line or two we see in these instances from guests.

Next up is “No Survivors,” which features the second guest, Scott Ian Lewis of Carnifex. His band released a killer new album this year, too. This is a far bouncier track, with pinch harmonics adding color. The keys/synths are almost always present in this track, as well as the rest. They don’t usually appear in front of everything else, either like other bands. I must mention, however, that after listening to this song many times, I can’t tell in which part(s) Mr. Lewis appears.

I realized I’m near the end and have not mentioned anything in the second half of the album, so I’ll bring up the closer, “Experiment Complete.” It’s around 4 minutes, so par for the course on an 11-track, 37-minute album. They’ve opted for the concise, direct version of a finale, and just like the rest of the album, it’s over before you know it.

Despite my saying symphonic deathcore and deathcore, in general, are past their prime, I realized I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of it this year. Carnifex, Mental Cruelty, Ov Sulfur, Signs of the Swarm, Suicide Silence, and To The Grave, have all been on my playlists. I’m safely adding The Convalescence as well. Not only does this album prove deathcore is not over, but it’s the band’s finest hour. If you’re even a little into the style, check this out.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
December 19th, 2023

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