(Tridroid Records, Sarlacc Productions, 2014)
Devouring Star from Finland strikes to me as something extremely familiar, and also as something extremely fresh.
The familiar part being there are a lot of bands of this genre these days, with many quality labels (apparently) cashing in on the popularity of “Spiritual” and “Occult” Black Metal. Then again, if we can indeed talk of this kind of music as a certain genre within modern Black Metal, perhaps we should criticise these bands within the concepts of this genre, and not as Black Metal in general.
The fresh part of Devouring Star is the fact that this doesn’t sound like typical Finnish Black Metal, being more thoughtful and of a better quality. Also, the little things that make the music are all nicely personal and original enough to make this a positively new kind of experience, compared to most bands of this style.
This demo features two songs of about five and six minutes in length. The first song “Chaos Omega” starts slowly, with the dissonant-like riffs, not unusual within this genre but quite original in nature, well produced software-drums, and splendidly performed low speech-like Blackened vocals, taking us straight to the abyss of human consciousness. Quite hypnotic and repeating, although complex at the same time, the first half of the song passes by in the psychedelic euphoria this kind of music can bring at it’s best, before exploding into a more furious blasting storm, making the drum-software sound a bit too unnatural compared to the slower parts. The second song “Todestrieb” is a bit more intense work of art, but otherwise following the same upscale path begun by the first song. This song features even more original dissonant guitars and perhaps even better playing. Some Death Metal elements are also a bit more apparent, but not too much, keeping the music within the circle of Black Metal. These songs stand multiple listens, that’s for sure.
What makes Devouring Star stand above most bands of the genre, is the certain class and style apparent in the crafting and playing of the riffs, and planning of the overall song-structures. Also the sounds fit the feelings nicely, being not too damp and not too cold. The vocals sound personal and of high class, without too much effects, and the lyrics are enjoyably intelligent and multifaceted.
As Devouring Star has also played live, I can picture this stuff working nicely on stage as well. Daemon Worship Productions has also announced the upcoming full-length “Through Lung And Heart”, which is most certainly one of the most anticipated releases of the near future for a lot of Spiritually-oriented Black Metalists.
If you like bands like Ascension, Deathspell Omega, Aosoth etc., check out this demo and keep an eye on the upcoming full-length, as well as any possible live-performances by the band. Personally, I thought I can’t be positively surprised within this genre of music anymore when it comes to a new band, but it happened.
8.5/10 – Antti Mikonmäki