Art Of Extermination
posted on 11/2008 By:
I seriously thought that after hearing Mindly Rotten and Dripping that I had experienced the weirdest stuff that ultra-brootal death metal had to offer. Turns out I was wrong.
The cover art of Art of Extermination may lead you to believe this is another by-the-numbers, slam-filled, gurgled brutal death metal album, but Devast is a truly different animal. I’ve been struggling for awhile trying to describe the sound these guys have crafted, as it's quite unlike anything I’ve heard; a chaotic, yet precisely calculated maelstrom of Immolation, Gorguts, and Spawn of Possession with an extra element of weirdness that is entirely their own. The way this outfit writes riffs is just delightfully bizarre, completely eschewing the palm-muted breakdowns overused by so many bands in favor of strange harmonic combinations and an unusual melodic sense that, coupled with the merciless blasting of the drums, creates a seriously demented atmosphere. While the gruff vocals (which thankfully bear more similarity to Decrepit Birth than Devourment) and the technical but unspectacular drumming may not sound like anything special, this album is surprisingly innovative and impressive in the guitar department, and as a display of extreme metal riffage gone haywire, it works beautifully. There’s little in the way of standout tracks or moments (though the discordant opening of “Inhuman Atrocity Part I” will grab your attention), just a quick-and-to-the-point death metal tour de force of maniacal proportions.
Art of Extermination still has plenty in common with more traditional brutal DM acts. The ultra-dry production leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, with super-triggered machine-gun drumming and next to no gain on the guitars. While the production highlights the meticulously crafted nature of the riffs, there’s disappointingly little heaviness overall, and this will turn many of you off. I’m definitely not partial to the mix myself, but I feel the strength of the songs themselves is enough to compensate for the admittedly weak sound. The album is also an incredibly brief ride, running at a paltry twenty-three mintues, and while you’ll no doubt be left wanting more when it's over, the exceedingly unforgiving and one-dimensional nature of this release would make it hard (and redundant) to take much more.
I’m usually very wary of any band with an ultra-splattery logo and the dreaded “brutal” tag, but Devast stand out because of the originality and intensity of their writing, rather than how over-the-top their vocals or musicianship are (though they are certainly that as well). So to all those who live their lives with tattoo-ed arms crossed and Disgorge shirts and beanies in tow, pick up Art Of Extermination on the doub-le-vay and prepare yourselves for this strange, powerful new band.
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