Band : Devourment
Album/EP : Obscene Majesty
Genre: Death Metal/Slam
Label : Relapse
Location : Dallas, Texas
FFO : Abominable Putridity, Defeated Sanity, Pathology
On the 20th anniversary of the band's debut album 'Molesting the Decapitated", Devourment seem to age like a fine wine. Typically as bands age, they tend to explore more experimental territory. Often times that does not result in anything good (looking at you Morbid Angel) . I have always respected Devourment for staying true to the genre that they helped pioneer. "Obscene Majesty" is yet another stellar benchmark in the band's already decorated catalog.
After a minute or so intro, "Obscene Majesty" is off to the races with "A Virtulent Strain of Retaliation". In typical Devourment fashion, it is absolutely crushing. Ruben Rosas' voice has gotten continuously better over time. That becomes apparent the moment the vocals begin. Brad Fincher is one of the best, yet one of the least talked about drummers in the death metal. His speed is just blinding, yet still remains tasteful.
The riffs throughout every single track are the absolute standard of slam. When I say that, I mean that Devourment set the standard for the slam genre long ago, and have continued for two decades to raise the bar on said standard. Tracks like "Modum Sui Morte", "Narcissistic Paraphilia", and "Sculpted in Tyranny" are prime examples of this. I would challenge any heavy music fan to not listen to any track on this album, and not headband themselves into a concussion.
If there is any criticism on an otherwise perfect death metal album, the mix of "Obscene Majesty" left a bit to be desired for me. That is certainly not to say that the mix for what Devourment is known to sound like is bad. It is exactly what slam records traditionally sound like, and older listeners like myself very much appreciate staying true to the genre with a more classic sounding death metal/slam mix. My fear is that we are so spoiled nowadays with extremely heavy and clear mixes, that some younger listeners may be deterred by the lack of polish and sheen. As a result, some may miss just how heavy this album is. Had they perhaps found a happy medium, between traditional old school, and a more modern mix, this would be absolute perfection.
Devourment will always remain a pillar in the brutal death metal genre. They have consistently pumped out amazing records. They have spawned an entire new school of slam bands that do their best Devourment impression. "Obscene Majesty" should send them all back to the drawing board in hopes of being half as good. A true modern masterpiece.
Favorite Track: Modum Sui Morte