Blackened Death Metal, can there be a more pure genre? A marriage of perfect proportions bringing together all that is good from the underground and merging these two scenes in seamless harmony. However I can’t say I’ve always been the genres biggest fan, despite a love for Behemoth, Belphegor and War Metal the genre has never struck a massive chord with me save for Behemoth’s The Satanist. I thinking discovering War Metal is what gave me my Blackened Death Metal fix, powerhouse bands such as Bestial Warlust, Archgoat, Revenge and Conqueror all regularly find their way into my CD player.
Another band whom find themselves at my ears are Philippine’s based Blackened Death Metallers Deiphago. The band have a long and legendary career stretching back to 1989 when they went under the name Satanas. These guys have been there since the beginnings of purist Extreme Metal and stood as an important landmark in the global Metal conquest. The bands debut Satanik Eon receives regular praise but it is to their sophomore banger Filipino Antichrist which I worship the most, a huge album that plays on Blackened Death themes perfectly. Now we are in 2019 and we await the fifth tome I, The Devil a strongly named release put out through Hells Headbangers Records.
The bombastic intro is every bit as pointless as you might expect, but one must not quibble over such triviality. Whence Quantum Death blasts forth we find ourselves in a torrid storm of vomitus Blackened Death regality, huge guitars, massive drums and Thrash tinged vocals that spark with Death and Black Metal impurity. We even get a taste of memorability which makes this first track a real standout. Neuro-Satanic Circuit and 11:4:6 build upon these themes further with some fantastic drumming, rumbling bass and overall Black Death putridity that brings this album to life like a highly produced early Bathory with experimental additions of Death Metal carnage.
As we move into the later portion of the album however the themes begin to run a touch dry with Chaos Protocols borrowing a lot from the beginning of this release and offering up little new ideas. The closing titular track brings at least something different in it’s crazed frenzy, however it lacks a little something bringing the album to an anti-climactic end. I’m not entirely sure what this album lacks exactly but there is a certain punch that is left unwanted, in fact during some portions the album feels almost free form and devoid of any sort of structure. At its start there is a fresh yet comforting Extreme Metal balance but as the album progresses it fades into nothingness.
Despite my love for the classic Filipino Antichrist album and a certain amount of admiration for Deiphago I, The Devil ticks very few boxes for me. Another painful review for me to conduct about a classic band simply not living up to their potential. Whilst I don”t hate this album I equally don’t see much reason for me to return to it anytime soon, instead it is likely to sit their gathering dust (or at least the electronic equivalent of dust). If you’re wanting some classic Deiphago then head back to the bands earlier days and perhaps leave this alone for the more seasoned listener.
(6/10 George Caley)