Well here’s a big slice of frantic metal joy!
Devil Master are a quartet hailing from Philadelphia that play an unholy mash up of blackened death metal and punk with a liberal dollop of goth rock – think Nunslaughter playing The Mission covers!
They’ve been around since 2016 and other than a couple of singles & demos this is their debut full length.
This is some ridiculously high energy, blasphemometal and is totally addictive. From the creepy Fulci soundtrack meets Scooby Doo keyboard intro which leads untidily into first track proper “Nightmares In The Human Collapse” with its d-beat driven riff frenzy, you know this is gonna be a fun blast. This is like a Fields Of The Nephilim album played at 78rpm (but with added metal and less flour & pretentiousness) Zero parody here though – these young Yanks are all about the Satan! Thirteen (#obvs) mostly sub three minute toxic blasts like “Black Flame Candle” & “Devil Is Your Master” let you know in no uncertain terms that the band have arrived and are more than ready to get all sacrificey on your ass! Nods to early Venom & Bathory abound but Devil Master really have carved their own studded little niche. The production is suitably….. sloppy but in a good organic way that suits the music 100%. No Andy Sneap knob twiddling here, just reverb soaked vocals & guitars and up front drumming that sounds very live – refreshing in this age of digital fuckery. These will be a joy to see & hear live I reckon.
Some may criticise the lack of variety on offer here, but those are the same proctomancers that probably say the same about Motorhead so fuck them! I can’t envisage any metal or punk fan come to that, being disappointed with this record.
This is a killer debut and Devil Master are gonna be a band to watch in the future, no question.
(8/10 Mark Eve)