Music is perhaps the most powerful form of media, it can help you through hard times, give you a sense of nostalgia, help you grow. Whatever the case may be it’s undeniable that some form of music will impress you during your life. For me it was hearing those first notes of Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast album, my entire perspective on music was forever changed and since then at age 11 I’ve never looked back. From here on I went to seek the most abrasive and destructive music I could find, Autopsy, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass again artists whom showed me extremity and took my love of music to new heights.
A band whom I’ve failed to mention and whom became the next rung upon my ladder of depravity are the Texas based Slam legends Devourment. Age 16 I was fully enveloped by the world of Death Metal and upon hearing this bands classic track Babykiller I was hooked. From the bands 1999 debut Molesting The Decapitated they have shook the world of Death Metal time and time again. Alas in 2014 the band hit a bit of a brick wall with Conceived In Sewage, a change of direction and overall more traditional Death Metal sound saw them fall out of favour with many Slammers, although not me I might add. Yet now the band have returned and reverted back to a line up closely affiliated with Molesting The Decapitated, welcome now the Relapse Records released Obscene Majesty!
A Virulent Strain Of Retaliation opens with a blustering storm like introduction that is ominous and foreboding. Then straight away we are blasted by the machine gun drums and volatile guitars of both Brad Fincher and Chris Andrews. This is all before the timeless gutturals of Ruben Rosas kick in for the first time since Molesting The Decapitated, a complete throwback to the bands early days. Cognitive Sedation Butchery comes to up the Slam game and it is by this point that we are fully taken in by the sheer heaviness of this album, the band may be using their old sound but they’re still heavier than any band out there. Despite the fact that the sound of this release is consistent throughout with little change in tone each and every song has its own flare and is a testament to the bands career, if you doubted Devourment’s last record then this is sure to blow you away.
Bringing further old school Slam vibes is Arterial Spray patterns with drumming akin to that found on perhaps one of the bands most ferocious albums Butcher The Weak. There is a point in this record, for me it was at about just over halfway during Dysmorphic Autophagia that I began to question, is this the best Devourment release ever? Of course I quickly remembered Molesting The Decapitated and Butcher The Weak but seriously this album is easily on par with those. Equally from a musical standpoint you can really hear the bands evolution, Obscene Majesty is not only one of the heaviest records I’ve ever heard but also so refined considering its brutality. The dirge like Slams of Sculpted In Tyranny only bolster this further, they may be filthy, murky drags of cavernous riffs but they are so well tuned to Devourment’s signature sound that it all fits and each and every note is still a delectable slice of flesh. Although there are plenty of slower songs and lengthy tracks there is still room for quicker songs such as Xenoglossia which again becomes reminiscent of the Butcher The Weak or even Unleash The Carnivore eras. As the album closes we are left dumbfounded and totally destroyed by the bands sheer ferocity and overall force.
As frequent readers will know I can rant about Slam forever and a day. I can say this band is great or that band is great but really they’re all inspired by one thing, Devourment. These are the kings of Slam and if you dispute that then I’m afraid you’re wrong. If you never listen to another Slam band again but you dig Devourment then that’s good enough. Obscene Majesty is the perfect starting point too, relentless, old school and without a doubt one of the greatest records this year.
(10/10 George Caley)