(Daemon Worship Productions, 2014)
I was positively surprised by local Devouring Star’s Demo of 2014 (at the time a one-man band), since it didn’t have the typical Finnish Black Metal feel to it, sounding a bit more mature and of good quality. The only thing that bothered me even a little bit was the use of software drums, but that problem has been solved with the adding of a human drummer on this their first long-awaited full-length.
The album and the first song “Sanctified Decomposition” starts with a celestial and spiritual-sounding ambient synth-intro, giving me visions of a rider and his horse travelling across a vast clouded yet starry sky. The horse (our Ego?) is however soon impaled with the spear of the rider, as the ominous guitars and vocals appear, with the simple yet powerful beating of the drum-kit, soon changing nature from the Doomier start to a more traditional Black Metal blasting. The guitars deliver fascinating multifaceted yet not too complicated riffs, with interesting combination of strokes and tremolos, while the drums accompany the great performance with equal imagination and skill. The vocals are of great quality as well, in their low preaching screaming, pretty simple in nature yet having many shades and nuances. To my hearing, the basses merge with the guitars having similar frequencies, and the overall soundscape has a clear yet deep and low-kicking atmosphere to it. Especially the drum-sounds fit the rest of the music great, from rides to toms.
The fascinating crafting and arranging of the first song continues in the second song “Decayed Son Of Earth”, going straight to intensive blasting. The third song “To Traverse The Black Flame” starts with a bit more “groovier” and not-so-traditional expression, still ultimately breathing in the same realm with the rest of the album. The fourth song “The Dreaming Tombs” is perhaps my favourite with it’s straightforward melancholic approach. The fifth and final song “Through Lung And Heart” is like a summary of the rest of the album heard so far, fitting the role of the final piece greatly with it’s epic majesty.
The album is so tight and gripping, it could also be presented as a single 39-minute song, as time loses it’s meaning listening to it, while we are still living it’s feelings extremely concentrated riff by riff, fill by fill, line by line. When the album is finished, the horse rides no more, yet the rider walks with a newfound strength and determination (my personal interpretation naturally).
With a start this powerful and upscale, we can expect great things from this young band in the future. They will be performing live as well, pleasing many fans of “modern” Black and Death Metal. This album is a must for fans of the styles of today coming forth in the music of names such as Aosoth, Bölzer, Altar Of Plagues, Deathspell Omega, Ascension, and the likes. Although, if you’re a fan of music of this style, you have probably heard of Devouring Star by now.
9/10 – Antti Mikonmäki