Friday, September 14, 2012
Devourment - Butcher the Weak
Right off the bat I noticed that the production here is significantly better than that found on the previous release, Devourment's debut, 'Molesting the Decapitated'. That album was a veritable wall of noise whose rhythmic patterns could only be determined by what was going on behind the drum kit. Aside from the many and obligatory "breakdown" sections, attempting to decipher what was going on during the faster sections was pretty much an impossible endeavor to achieve. Here, you can tell that great care was put into making sure that each nuance was as eligible as the cost of production permitted them to be. That doesn't mean that everything is crystal clear, by any stretch, but in terms of clarity, this is a large step above MTD.
The vocalist here, Mike Majewski (formerly the bassist) is easily the most bland of the three vocalists who have lent their pipes to the mic. Whereas original vocalist, Wayne Knupp, had quite an extraordinary range, and one time vocalist (now guitarist and main riff writer) Ruben Rosas had, in my opinion, one of the more frighteningly disturbing sounding voices (Donald Duck with a broken neck), Majewski just sounds like a plain old "br00tal" death metal vocalist, no better or worse than the hundreds of vocalists that have aped Devourment from the jump.
The drumming here is a couple notches better than that of the previous album, but fails to interest me as I have noticed that the majority of the "weirdo-isms" employed by the previous drummer have now been kicked to the curb in favor of full on speed, a concept that has bored me to no end throughout the years.
In regards to the riff writing... when the faster sections are on display, I find myself listening intently and feeling rather satisfied, that is, until the ever obligatory "breakdown/slam" sections rear their mentally challenged cabezas. This is not to say that I am necessarily against this approach, but I am a bit "particular" about it, if you will. Bands and artists alike have been spewing out breakdown patterns since the dawn of mankind. There are plenty of classic tracks from Sabbath to Slayer and everything in between and beyond, that have sections designed to make your head rock back and fourth. It's the notion of "slam for the sake of slam" that has given birth to a countless number of unworthy additions to the metal scene and Devourment always seems to teeter the fence between decent and outright fucking stupid, as a result. If more thought was given to the slower, "slammier" sections as was the faster parts, this could have been a much better album along with its successor and equally mundane 'Unleash the Carnivore' (seriously, whoever writes these album titles just needs to fucking stop already). Unfortunately though, it seems that as the guitarist has progressed, his interest in writing "slam" riffs has faded a bit, and it shows... glaringly. Too bad. Hopefully this band will find it within themselves to transcend the hindering title of "slam band" and come out with something that makes good on the promise shown on this album during the more 'intricate' sections, however infrequent those moments may be.