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Devolution > Consumer > Reviews > Edmund Sackbauer
Devolution - Consumer

Devolution - Consumer - 91%

Edmund Sackbauer, August 8th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, Digital, Independent

I am always on the hunt for new music that is sinister and powerful, and France surely is a country which has to offer a lot of new and priorly undiscovered acts. One of my latest finds have to be Devolution, a black/death metal outfit consisting of four guys but mainly driven by vocalist and guitar player Clément. Not too long ago I reviewed the new album by Opprobre, one of his other outfits and another great French band. Whereas Oppobre use a more unorthodox blueprint to work their magic and enhance the traditional black metal patterns by some post- and even proggy influences Devolution is a bit more of a straight-forward affair. While the playing is also sophisticated on “Consumer” the overall style here has more in common with classic blackened death metal albums. Check out the band’s homepage where Clément lists some record which influenced his songwriting and you can clearly see where he is coming from.

What both acts have in common are the fantastic guitar lines and the way the harmonies are put front and center. This album is heavy in both atmosphere and aggression, hearkening back all the way to the origins of the genre. The mix of heavy rhythm guitars and captivating melodies, all underpinned by some frantic, almost feverish, drum work and topped off with some angry vocals, does make it a fittingly monumental and monolithic slab of old school extreme metal. Devolution use the death metal basics mainly to be found in the Florida style, weaving extensive moods and some blackened tapestries with ease to create moody yet crushing music. The songs here are richly textured with nuance and subtlety, even when things get more aggressive and straight to the point.

The whole album feels so adequately edited and crafted that no note seems extraneous or tiresome. The layering of the guitars along with the depth of the vocals provides an encapsulating feel. Starting from opening song “Aux Portes du Vide”, tracks bleed together seamlessly, creating an overlap of fear and terror while never ignoring the more melodic side of things. In parts like the beginning of the second track “Le Poids du Jugement” blast beats and more chaotic structures dominate as the vocals drop to a growl and the guitars thicken up. A relentless display of craftsmanship closes out the chaotic portion and a groovier section starts along with the stunning lead harmony of the song. The main theme of song number three “De l'Etincelle à la Conflagration” is even more memorable, showing the talent involved here.

While the technical skills are pretty impressive we are not talking about any kind of technical or progressive stuff. In the end this is a no-gimmicks, no frills old school death/black metal record with a few modern twists done from fans for fans of the genre. The members deliver admirable performances, and the music just focuses on riffs that will turn your head into a windmill. Effortlessly combining simplicity with stellar musicianship and good songwriting is what sets Devolution apart from most of their peers, which is especially impressive taking into consideration that we are talking about a debut effort. The production is fantastic, very dynamic and powerful. For purists the sound might be a bit too modern, but music that comes with so many layers needs this kind of approach to really get the message across in the right way. “Consumer” is an absolute statement of a release by a band with a bright future and I can only urge you to give this album a listen.