There´s an unending flood of bands out there! You´d think that it´d be tiresome, as a reader, to be reading the same descriptions over and over again, when a b-rated band is being reviewed. I guess my message is: It´s important to underline a statement, when a band with obvious influences really stands out through fresh songwriting and arranging, plus the extra vitalizing touches of daring to take a musical left or right whenever they feel like it.
Right from the get go, the (very) young quintet known as DEVIOUS have been tagged as one of the more promising Death Metal acts to emerge from Holland, which is a real confidence booster when you think of all the great bands spawned from this wonderful country. Anyway, when listening to the band´s third album, I can easily understand why people would make such a bold statement. This is incredibly well done and interestingly layered Death Metal mixed with Thrash and small portions of DARKANE´ish symphonic shades. The songwriting may not be 100% fresh, as in original, but it´s pretty convincing and sometimes damn near stunning, sounds like a worn out Death Metal sound pimped up a notch with a few unexpected variations.
To me, the moods, the awesome riffing and leads, much of it sounds like BEHEMOTH without their brutal armour, mixed with SCAR SYMMETRY´s melodic style borrowing some of that Polish armour, topped off with some U.S. technicality, Schuldiner style, and no clean vocals hehe; I know that sounds like a weird analysis of the atmospheres that run through the album, but it´s somewhat fitting, it´s unmistakably evil sounding but also consistently sophisticated in melody, structure and overall technical sounding although the eerie keyboards are fully integrated with the sound.
The songs take on many different tempos and frequently shift from various juicy double bass races and occasional blastings, to slower, mid-tempo sections where the keyboards and lead guitars work their magic. Vocally, things are played within a safer route, being an effective yet standard growl that has an ounce of Hardcore-esque stylings.
Despite a few familiar and genre safe sounding passages, DEVIOUS have forged a great, if not stellar, release with these eight tracks, no doubt a band to watch out for.
(Online November 3, 2009)