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Devouring Star > Through Lung and Heart > Reviews
Devouring Star - Through Lung and Heart

Inspired. And Good. - 82%

devletli, September 26th, 2016

Hoodies and covered faces? Check. Incognito artists? Check. 9+ minute songs? Check. Obvious DsO / French influence? Check. Chaos, distance and discord? Check, check and check. Black metal glory? Check. And here we have a good new black metal band “Devouring Star” and their debut “Through Lung and Heart”.

Do not let the introduction give the idea of a generic album, though. This formula and approach to music is an immensely tough job all the while conveying the black metal feeling. The Finnish band, with a very stylish logo (Mare Cognitum, anyone?), do a pretty impressive job here and one can only hope for more in the future.

The album, with a mean cover art bestows 5 movements of fury and chaos in just under 40 minutes. Musically, atmosphere setting ringing guitars are buried deep in the overall sound, under drums and even the distorted bass. As expected, we have complexity and shifting of melodies, but the band employs more power-chord sections than their contemporaries. Those moments see the tempo drop for us to enjoy more heaviness. As for the dominating drums, the tone is quite raw and organic, yet the execution is sloppy at times. Again, different from the likes, rather than a showcase of technical prowess, the drummer sticks to furious blast beats through a good portion of the album. Abrupt falls of tempo give way to grim and heavy passages but the listener is not allowed relief from the overall horror and chaos that ensue. Growling and agonizing vocals are quite in par with the tone and accentuate the death-ened sound.

Through Lung and Heart closes up with the titular track that opens (and closes), as the album does, with a chanting / ambient section and this song sees the most variation and lengthy slow and heavy passages. Life as we know it continues and the earth is in full rotation after the album’s end. While being quite good for a debut, distant and with all the instruments audible, I would expect a neater recording with a solid sound for the following albums. Considering we have declining amount of good coming from Finland (except the madness that is Oranssi Pazuzu), Through Lung and Heart is a welcome treat and a hope for a brighter future with peace and love on earth. Well maybe not the last bit.

(Originally published at: winterwhenyoufreeze)

The Gospel of the Slit Throat - 85%

torchia, April 13th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Daemon Worship Productions

It is difficult to consider comparisons to heavyweights Deathspell Omega as a disservice to any hardworking black metal band or act. For many, they represent black metal's artistic zenith, musically, lyrically and aesthetically. The band's current sonic direction, heard only as seedlings on 'Si Monumentum...' and more recently fully abloom on 'Paracletus', has been described as everything from jazz black metal to bearing more similarities to the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan than anything ever wildly imagined by Darkthrone. Yet, despite those apparent non-sequiturs within the rigid, serious world of black metal, they are considered untouchable and invariably wholly seminal.

Finland's Devouring Star revealed themselves in 2014, brandishing a rancorous two-track, self-titled demo. Arresting, developed and ambitious, it caught a lot of warranted attention and it took no time at all for the Deathspell Omega comparisons to lazily fill headlines and column space. While the similarities and nods were audible, Devouring Star avoided all of the flattery utilised by Dutch outfit Dodecahedron, for example. In short, Devouring Star, as a contemporary black metal band, couldn't help but be influenced by Deathspell Omega, but their Finnish charm shone through the Francophilic tendencies of their peers.

While 'Through Lung and Heart' opens with yet more Deathspell Omega acknowledgement, displaying 'Kénôse'-like plodding drums beneath discordant, jarring riffing, as well as some of those The Dillinger Escape Plan-style bass-heavy, intricate, slow section breakdowns, Devouring Star manage to incorporate every aspect of this into an all-engulfing, organic sound that is very much their own. It is warm, rich and pulsating, and not a mere carbon copy.

Niceties aside, this is a merciless black metal record, with very little in the way of respite to be found track to track, no matter the music's pace. Interestingly, the band's steadfast pummelling drumming and dissonant riffing, while entirely competent and listenable, often gives way to inspired slow to mid pace sections that shed light on excellently crafted melodies, particularly in "To Traverse the Black Flame". Added to this, an unhurried section heard within the second track, "Decayed Son of Earth", is reminiscent of slower portions found on Funeral Mist's excellent 'Maranatha'.

As an entire offering and debut full-length, fortified by visuals/layout from Comaworx and Brianvdp, as well as eloquent lyrical oblations, 'Through Lung and Heart' is fantastically strong and truly haunting in many respects. While its vocals may be considered par for the course and are definitely one of the weaker aspects of this album, the rest of the musicianship is focused, suitably abrasive and memorable, unlike so much of their counterparts' output. Among a slew of post-Deathspell Omega acts, Devouring Star have set themselves apart with apparent ease. Watch this one make Best of 2015 lists later in the year.

Debut inspired by dense French black / death metal - 73%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, April 13th, 2015

If I hadn't already known through the MA archives that Devouring Star was Finnish but had come to know the band via its music alone, I probably would have guessed these guys were a black / death metal French band following in the path of bands like Antaeus and Deathspell Omega. As it turns out, these Finnish musicians take much inspiration from the French bands' style of dense blasting black metal with the twisting dissonant guitar chords and fiercely unflinching Satanic worship.

"Through Heart and Lung" is DS's debut album and it's not a bad work at all when you consider that the band has a small discography that includes just one other release (a demo), though there may be other recordings that we don't yet know about which the band might have only shared with friends and relatives. Bookended by unearthly cold ambient soundscapes that put the listener in the right frame of mind – that is, a fearful one – the band launches straight into "Sanctified Decomposition" which at nine minutes in length gives us what we can expect of these guys in essence: very jarring rhythm and lead guitars, a bit similar in sound and approach to Deathspell Omega, on first hearing at least; good and consistent drumming; a heavy and deep grinding bass; and vocals of a dry death-rattle quality. The song packs in bouts of blaring blast-beat aggression in among the riffing and rhythm sequences, and I have to say that this song and the others that follow, while they are very tight, don't always have very clear musical identities that are distinct from one another.

At least DS are not too demanding on the ear: the production is very clear, allowing each instrument to be heard, and the music is not very complex in the way Deathspell Omega's albums can be. The guitar textures have enough fuzz but not too much so their ringing (or nagging, depending on your point of view) tone dominates the band's sound. In a later track, the guitars (both lead and rhythm) resemble a hive of hornets in their never-ending buzz and grind. If ever DSO made a comeback in a stripped-down, minimalist garage form, the French band might sound a little like DS does here.

DS lavish most attention on the title track with added recordings of ambience (which I would have liked to have heard between tracks to help differentiate them and add a three-dimensional effect) and a loose structure that draws out the dread and malevolence in the music and lyrics. The vocal has an extra ring of cold echo around it which makes it stand out a bit more from the rest of the music. Powerful riffs anchor the track and help make this the most memorable of the five songs here.

At this early stage of DS's career, the guys need to add something to their style so that it doesn't sound so much like a lesser or simpler version of DSO. Perhaps with more time spent playing together, refining their style and writing and recording more songs, the band will develop a more definite style and identity as an occult black / death metal band.

Devouring Star – Through Lung and Heart - 81%

powerblack, March 13th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Daemon Worship Productions

Devouring Star is a black/death metal band hailing from Finland. Not much of information has been revealed about the quartet, as the members keep their identity secret. Their debut effort, ‘Through Lung and Heart’ was released last month on various formats through Daemon Worship Productions. What makes Devouring Star unique is their complex approach on the music, dragging influences from ambient, black, death and doom metal to generate a sound of their own.

‘Through Lung and Heart’ is very dark, heavy and crushing at the same time. The album kicks off with a 2 minute long ambient intro before surging into chaotic black/death metal for the rest 35 minutes. Devouring Star carefully managed to distinguish themselves from being labeled as an Archgoat or Barathrum styled band by varying the tone depth and tempos. The band solely relied on heavy riffing to induce that hellish vibe in their music, echoing a 90’s death/doom atmosphere throughout. The often tremolo picked rhythms add black metal flavor to it, backed by powerful drumming and bass distortions. Devouring Star put all of their efforts to maintain the originality of their sound and showcased their musicianship on the opening track ‘Sanctified Decomposition‘, so if you are spinning the disc, you will know what is awaiting on the next four tracks. The use of synths is limited to ambient sections on the tracks ‘Sanctified Decomposition’ and ‘Through Lung and Heart’. ‘Decayed Son of Earth’ and ‘To Traverse the Black Flame’ have some slow paced sections reminiscent of Svartidauði. Again, the next track ‘The Dreaming Tombs’ pulls in the faster black metal mayhem. Therefore, the music never gets predictive but to grasp you amidst the trench of devouring black holes.

The vocals on this album is terrific, the howling singing and the trembling grunts will shiver your spine. Despite the good production, ‘Through Lung and Heart’ never loses the appeal. This is where Devouring Star stands out. They didn’t just rely on poor mastering and productions deteriorating the sound but brought in their innovation to procreate a genuine black metal stance for themselves.

Not sure if others would agree or not, I will personally recognize ‘Through Lung and Heart’ as one of the most comprehensive and exciting releases of the year 2015. Devouring Star just showed their potentials by placing a landmark black/death metal album. Strongly recommended.

Recommendation: Sanctified Decomposition, The Dreaming Tombs, Through Lung and Heart.

Originally written for Venustas Diabolicus.