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At the mere mention of a new Devourment record, it becomes one of my more anticipated releases to come. Hell, they didn’t even have much time to get the ink dry on the cover art for the last record when I heard they were signed to local label Relapse Records and I was already salivating for what was next. Almost 4 years since Unleash The Carnivore was released, Texas death machine Devourment is back with their most diverse record to date, Conceived In Sewage.
Back in 2009, when Unleash The Carnivore was released it was met with very mixed reviews. Those that claim to be the diehards of the band didn’t appreciate it nearly as much as it should have been. The production was too good and it wasn’t slam enough were the two biggest complaints. While Molesting The Decapitated and Butcher The Weak are really fun, heavy records to listen to, the idea of having Devourment continue to crank out that type of material without any progression would only cause a severe burnout on the band. Unleashing The Carnivore’s experimentation was a much needed breath of fresh air for the band and was definitely a welcomed sign of things to come. So with that being said, if you hated the last record, you might as well stop reading now because it’s only going to get worse for you from here on out.
What I love about this record the most is the fact that Devourment is taking a heaping shit on the rest of the slam metal community by branching out and showing they are more than just blastbeats and breakdowns. Most of the material between the monstrous slam parts they are known for is a brutal groove style of death metal that I can easily liken to Skinless’ last record, Trample The Weak… The band is able to maintain a sense of technicality without getting involved in melodies, solos, and what have you. Of course the slams are still there and with them Devourment continues to show who’s boss in this department. Everyone single one of them is the audio equivalent to a sledgehammer to the chest. So don’t worry, you still have a lot of the Devourment you loved sticking around.
The next noticeable, and is probably going to be the most shocking development of the band, change the band has made is in the form of Mike Majewski’s vocal delivery. Majewski is unofficially herald as the king of the guttural and that inhumanly low that he, as well as the former vocalists, could hit were probably more signature to Devourment’s sound than any other element. Well the days of cookie-monstering through a record seem to be over with. Taking lessons from Sherwood Weber (Skinless) and George Fisher (Cannibal Corpse), Majewski has added a much needed depth to his vocal delivery. This is the first record that I can understand much of the lyrics, even without reading the booklet, and that’s a welcomed addition.
I also feel the need to comment on the production. Erik Rutan has done it again and has solidified himself as the engineer that every death metal band should be recording with. Gone are the days of sounding like audio mud and in its place is a clean recording that beefs up the material. Every instrument is perfectly balanced and is able to stand out on their own without drowning out another. This is the way Devourment should have always sound.
This is by far one of the heaviest records I’ve ever heard. There isn’t a single band I can think of that has even a snowballs chance of dethroning Devourment this year and it’s only January. Elitist fans are going to hate this record but I, for one, consider myself a diehard fan and this is already my favorite release by them. The diversity explored on this improves Devourment to a level that I wasn’t quite sure they were going to ever to be able to hit. This is the record that will end up making them a (metal fan) household name and mentioned in the same breath as Dying Fetus, Skinless, and Cannibal Corpse.