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Deviser – Transmission to Chaos

Transmission to Chaos
by Gary Hernandez at 12 February 2020, 11:24 AM

DEVISER is a Hellenic Black Metal band originally hailing from Crete, Greece back in 1990. Since then they have released four full-length albums, plus two EPs. On December 13, 2019 they re-issued their second album, “Transmission to Chaos,” on Sleaszy Rider Records. The album includes the nine original tracks from 1998, plus an addition of four previously unreleased demos from 2003. Together you get a playing time that clocks out at just over an hour. Dollar for minute, that’s a pretty good deal. The question is: How does the quality rate?

DEVISER is at their best when they’re unleashing riffs with heavy, creative progressions – and there are plenty of these throughout the album. The band is at their worst when they augment their abusive onslaughts with less than inspiring keyboard embellishments and harmonies. The problem is, sadly, there’s a lot of keyboard action going on with this album. Oddly, the lead guitarist is also the keyboardist. I mean, how does that happen? It’s like one cancels out the other. Take “Transcendent Beauty” as an example. The guitar work is just amazing. The progressions, the shifting melodies, the sustained riffs oscillating with galloping punches are fantastic. And then in slip these keyboard flourishes that just kill it like some sad mime assassin. Okay, so that’s a little harsh, I know, but still.

The best track on the album is “Deamonolateria (Forbidden Knowledge).” Although it also suffers from superfluous synthesizers, the riffage and drum barrage are gloriously soul crushing. I also liked “The Dark Moon Gathered” which has some promising Thrash accents and layers of innovative guitar work. I should say the vocals are good throughout the entire album – classic Black Metal rasping evilness. The four demo tracks from 2003 are surprisingly well produced, though the’re also plagued with distracting synths.

Lyrically, the album seems to center on a Lovercraftian transcendent trip through a vast slumberous darkness, and not darkness as in an absence of light, but rather darkness as in cosmic indifference ending in insanity. The album has a nice thematic arc, ending with “Oneiric Aphasia” which actually sheds light on the previous narratives – e.g. Was this all a dream of unspeakable dread and awe or is it a new, wicked reality? So, some cool thoughtful, visual stuff there that most metalheads will appreciate.

Overall, I have mix mixed feelings about “Transmission to Chaos.” The guitar work is stunning, the drums and bass are solid, the vocals and lyrics spot on . . . I would just love to hear a mix without synthesizers. If you are a long time fan, you obviously don’t have a problem with the keyboards. For you this album is an easy score, especially with the demos. If you are new to the band, they’re still worth a listen.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Transmission To Chaos
2. Sailed By Night
3. Satyr, Hail!
4. Transcendent Beauty
5. A Story Of The Wind
6. Daemonolatreia (Forbidden Knowledge)
7. The Dark Mood Gathered
8. Open Shaft To Lunacy
9. Oneiric Aphasia
10. A New Wind Is Born (Immortal Child) – 2003 demo
11. Eyes Of Ice – 2003 demo
12. On The Battlements – 2003 demo
13. The Grim Flame – 2003 demo
Matt Hnaras – Vocals, Guitars
Nick Christogiannis – Bass
Manos Hiotis – Keyboards, Lead Guitars
Mike Tsempertzis – Drums
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records


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Edited 30 May 2020

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