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Devoid Of Thought – Outer World Graves Award winner

Devoid Of Thought
Outer World Graves
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 September 2021, 7:18 AM

DEVOID OF THOUGHT is an Italian death metal band who formed in 2016. “Outer World Graves,” is their full length debut. They have also released two demos and three splits. This album is a frightening, depraved trip through the unflinching Void of darkness. “Outer World Graves,” does indeed sound like the final resting place for unspeakable things that spent life in torment among godless events and hellish landscapes.

How did the band achieve this sound? The production helps immensely. This album is raw with every faucet of it covered in otherworldly filth. This makes the instruments powerful and appropriately dark but also mysterious, dangerous and just plain evil. But it also highly detailed oriented with the mixing and the general approach. Every growl bursts forth from the impenetrable darkness and rings loud and true. Each note crawls, seeps, and slithers from under the cosmic muck to strike with deadly accuracy.

Elements of doom metal permeate the soundscape as well. It isn’t so cut and dry as the band playing full speed death metal then switching to a slower pace tempo. The music is better integrated than that; “Outer World Graves" comes off more as a large miasma of all things unspeakable and ancient. This large wall of sound gets more and more methodical as it is heard. And the approach of doing things this way works. On one hand, their ability to display brutality pummels the body but the slower, encroaching pieces rip apart the mind. .

What's more maddening? Not being able to stop unseen forces from tearing you to pieces or seeing this slow, cosmic death coming for you, knowing you can’t stop it? I’ll let you be the judge because DEVOID OF THOUGHT gives us both scenarios with “Outer World Graves.” “Perennial Dream,” opens with the album. Feedback that builds into riffs sets the tone for their brand of abrasive death metal. The guitars weave in and out around the deep growls and screams. This swirling wall of sound is given weight with the drums and bass, both of which seem to sort of corral the sound but not in an attempt to hold back but to give direction instead. The rapid riffs stop briefly to let the lead guitar squeeze in notes—the effect works well to create even more of a dissonant atmosphere.

Four Cereulean Ways,” begins much slower and more caustic as a slow burn. The drums hammer down, going off like explosions. The bass is nimble and more than adapt enough to compliment the guitars but also be a beast of its own mind. I just love how insane and uncompromising this song is. At some points, it is so out there my head spins. Other times, that slow grind Echoes the best of doom and grabs a tight hold of the darkness.

Effigies,” is the longest song on the album being over eleven minutes in length. It begins its twisted life as a more straight forward death metal approach. At about two minutes in, the song changes a little pockets of insanity come out of the riff filled passages…..the band is going to let you forget how terrifying they can be. Around the 3:25 mark, the tempo slows and riffs are thrown out and crashed against cosmic shores. The band switches gears and a desperate scream preludes the music slowing down to a crawl for riffs with the density of a black hole to hit. The guitars use the time afterwards to inject pieces of dissonant melody that take the song to new levels, creating cracks that let new creatures peak inside then venture forth.

Seemingly never ending soundscapes hit harder and harder as the drums focus on tight destruction. As the song ventures forth, the riffs realign themselves for a speedier approach and provide ample land for the bass and drums to roam. “Sidereal Necrois,” is immediately sinister and many of the band’s  best guitar and bass movements can be found here. The guitars build the song up for maximum urgency and a constant push into new frontiers, such as the suffocating heavy darkness that begins around the 430 mark. Parts of the music hang in the air while the rhythm section creeps around in the background.  After a chunky riff settles in, the lead guitar goes crazy for a section that peels back layers of the cosmos.

Stargrave” has interesting and even catchy guitar on which the vocals settle into a groove upon. I’m impressed how this song comes together so quickly but can also introduce change just as quickly. A lot of different parts are presented here—it kept me guessing as what will happen next but I also savored what I was experiencing in any given moment. The finality of death and the end that everything must come to hits hard as the distortion rides the song out to the end like a funeral procession…in space. With “Outer Graves,” DEVOID OF THOUGHT have created a sick, twisted piece of cosmic death metal that is always brutal and interesting but always pushing the listener to the edge of nothingness. One of the essential listens for 2021.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Perennial Dream
2. Four Cereulean Ways
3. Effigies of a Distant Planet
4. Sidereal Necrosis
5. Stargrave
Lineup:
MS - Bass
DB- Drums
LG - Guitars
AC - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Everlasting Spew Records
     


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