posted on 9/2007 By:
So this is another case of a very, very late arrival; Devastator have already released a new full-length this year, and seeing as how Nuclear Proliferation was released in 2006, we’re essentially tackling an album that the band may well have one-upped already. That said, on to the review.
This comparatively young (formed in 2001) Floridian unit announce their intentions early, loudly, and frequently: they play straightforward, no-frills blackened thrash metal. The scales are tipped fairly noticeably towards the thrash end of things here, which is no surprise; most of these guys are also in a black metal unit called Blasphemer, which likely serves as an outlet for their more frostbitten sympathies. This here is a fairly perfunctory romp through Dark Angel/early Sepultura-informed hyperthrash with just a smattering of BM ingredients in the form of the expected raspy vocals and occasional moments of Nordic grandiosity (“Forever Bound to Suffer,” “Bombardment,” “Into Battle”). Guitarists Adrian and Alaric dole out a full hour of faceless speedpicked riffage completely free of groove parts, solos, or so much as a single identifiable break from the constant power chords and single notes. These tracks are long as fuck—usually eight minutes or more, and twelve at the outside—and exhaustingly repetitive as listens, especially with Wulfnoth belting out simplistic patterns in his anguished but variety-free wail over the buzzing riffs. A totally bassless production (seriously, Laz the bassist might have been jazzing into the mic in the studio and nobody would be able to tell) and some sloppy, underspeed blasting from otherwise clockwork drummer Pest completes the amateurish—er, I mean totally fucking retro old school METAL feel of the album.
I feel like it’s kind of taboo in the metal world to dislike deliberately retro bands like Devastator, and it pisses me off. Yeah, they have the DIY cover art, sweet logo and studs’n’bullets look of your favorite black/thrash bands of yore. But really, are the total musical homogeneity and shitty production called for? The bands who first played this style played it because it was fresh and dangerous and a little scary; they sounded crappy because they had no resources and because they didn’t know any better. It was a daring rebellion against musical convention then, but it sounds rehearsed and artificial coming from bands like this one.
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