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Devotion – The Harrowing Award winner

Devotion
The Harrowing
by Ricardo “Lebzul” Brenes at 27 January 2021, 9:10 PM

Hailing from Spain, DEVOTION have been active in the underground since 2012. “The Harrowing” is their second full-length out now through Memento Mori, five years after the release of their debut album “Necrophiliac Cults”.

This album offers a total of 13 songs, of which “The Harrowing”, “Brethren in Gloom”, “Mangled Angels”, “Depravity” and “Penumbra” are short, Dark-Ambient orinted instrumentals.

After the instrumental intro “The Harrowing”, “God Forlorn” becomes your first face to face experience with the sound of the band. Pure Death Metal from start, with crushing riffs and massive drumming along with very nice deep growled vocals that feel damn evil. I like the song structuring and the use of keyboards only when essential, giving it the right density of atmosphere at the right time.

“Meggido’s” follows, crushing from the start, like old MORBID ANGEL but with deeper vocals. Close to the middle of the song, after a loud lead, the pace slows down and the keyboards set the dark atmosphere in, alternating between these and faster parts the song flows like blood on the walls, vocals combining pitch towards the end; my favorite track on the album.

“Birth of Horror” took me back to GRAVE’s “into The Gave” years, but then, once again the band surprises me with a very nice mid-section where the keyboards accompany the slow double-bass and heavy lines into more, straight forward brutality, so it is so much of the old school sound with a nice dark twist to it. Somehow similar but very much more selective to what NOCTURNUS tried to achieve in the “The Key”, the aim seems to be to darken, as if dwelling into Doom Metal territory without sacrificing the brutality, something in which bands like MORGOTH and ASPHYX prove successful.

“Feast of Esdras” is another song to feast on with an evil atmosphere that it is not easily achieved by most, absolutely devastating. “The Mournful Beam” has tints of the slow-paced MORBID ANGEL of “God of Emptiness” and ends leaning towards the “Considered Dead” era GORGUTS.

There are melodic solos and passages that definitely tell you that this is not just about being brutal, it is well-designed, structured and executed. It does not fully dwell into the modern technical and progressive realms but it does definitely have its own fresh, modern identity within the old school sounding bands. It does sound to me as a great mixture of some of the best names in the evolution of pure Death Metal, not a copy, but the influences show here and there very clearly. The whole mix is very powerful and somehow raw (as is the sound of the OSDM) but very well balanced and presented to our ears. Very nice stuff.

Songwriting:  10
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  9
Production:  10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. The Harrowing
  2. God Forlorn
  3. Megiddo's
  4. Brethren in Gloom
  5. Valley of Death
  6. Birth of Horror
  7. Mangled Angels
  8. Feast of Esdras
  9. The Mournful Beam
  10. Depravity
  11. Demon Sleep
  12. Virtue Besmirched
  13. Penumbra
Lineup:
David García - Drums
Nosfer - Guitars
Vincent Riera – Vocals
Txito – Bass
Jesús Francés – Guitars
Record Label: Memento Mori
     


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