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An Expression of Wasted Potential - 44%

felix headbanger, December 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum

Post-black metal is one of those genres that I find too trendy and too hip to listen to. To tell you all frankly, there is only one post-black metal band that I dig, and that is the already broken up trio of Ireland's Altar of Plagues. The band's first two full-length records, "White Tomb" and "Mammal", are the perfect examples of how to create a black metal album that emphasizes more experimentation and creative expression than other forms.

Here we have a Lithuanian band named Devlsy who attempted to pull off what Altar of Plagues had achieved with their early releases. However, what Devlsy had put out with their sophomore studio record "Private Suit" had failed to accomplish the standard craftsmanship of their forefather. "Private Suit" is a record which contains a distinctive stylistic blend of post-rock, a little touch of doom along with gothic metal, and of course black metal.

While the album has that upside on its enthralling atmospheric aura, its overall quality is nothing unique to the post-black metal category. Right from the beginning of the album, the listeners are presented with extensive post-rock strumming which is collaborated with generic blast beats eruption shortly after. There are a reasonable amount of tremolo riffs used in here, but it is just basically to try and catch the listeners attention in an attempt to not make them feel bored. Yes, there is a perceptible presence of black metal ingredient in here, but it is not that powerful.

The guitar riffs, while semi-hypnotic in some ways, are very dry and tedious. It is pretty much that generic two-chord riff passages that we can usually hear in a lot of predominant corporate rock-style black metal bands. The riffs are repetitive, irritating, boring, overblown, and just does absolutely nothing special at all. It never progresses and it isn't aggressive. Undoubtedly, the massive sound and sludgy twist of the bass played its part in putting across an emotional meaning behind the tracks in the offering. It is the only element in the album that gives the whole thing decency. It sets the mood and plays as a solid undercurrent throughout the whole playing time of this release.

We head to the drum part of this material, where it solely depends on the hard-hitting approach of the band's drummer. There is nothing much exceptional about his style, as the drummer only utilizes those typical blasts that most bands in this genre had engineered and mastered for the duration of their existence. The vocals are also a bit annoying. The roars and spooky wails are kind of bearable, but the soft hissing and clean vocal transition in an effort to change the mood of the songs ruined the whole thing.

Album mixing is crystal clear, as expected to the records coming out under the post-black metal category. Almost every instrument is hearable in most part of the offering, and their tone holds well together, nothing sounds majorly out of place. The songwriting is tedious, there are no particular frame of mind to the songs, and they don't have a substantial story to tell. The band undeniably lacks introspection and presentation while fabricating this material, because the composition of the tracks is insipid and bland.

To make this long review short, Devlsy had produced a dismaying album with "Private Suite". Maybe if the band had gone to a more straightforward atmospheric black metal manner with this offering they would have pulled it off and assembled an acceptable release. It is also evident that these guys have great potential to become good musicians, it is just disappointing to know that at this point in their career they are not doing an effort to focus on improving more on the facets that they have odds-on mastering.

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