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Deliciously Vile - 83%

the_trendkill, June 27th, 2011

Although "Devourment" is not the most pleasant sounding name, a newcomer would not guess that said band has produced the most downright vile music ever. The whole album sounds like a crocodile gargling in a recently-used toilet tracked over a threshing machine. The lyrics (which are incomprehensible on the tracks, so you'll have to look them up to read them) may very well the be most sickening strings of words ever created by a human. The title is completely over the top. The cover - I can barely stand to look at it for more than a few seconds before wincing and turning away.

And yet, despite everything I've stated above, I love it. It's great. Most importantly, it's ridiculous, which I feel is the whole point of Devourment's music. This is not meant to be a serious, musically complex, challenging release. This is meant to be a wall of rumbling noise and nonsense. That's the key to appreciating this album. You have to see it for what it is. This is the most raw, stripped-down, basic slam in the world. It's the recipe from which all subsequent slam albums have been crafted.

The production is substandard, which is the status quo in this genre. If it sounded like it had been recorded and mixed at a major record label's professional studio, I would question the sanity of those involved in the process. The talent of the musicians is up for debate, although I contend that it takes extraordinary skill to play this sort of music - it's just really repetitive. Not that it hasn't been said before, but the vocals on this album are absolutely inhuman. I'm uncertain if Ruben Rosas is a god among men or a living terror, but regardless, the depth of his range is inconceivable. The gurgling growl he unleashes at the close of the final track, Shroud of Encryption, is the deepest sound I have ever heard produced by a human being.

So what's so good about the album? It's tough for me to answer that. Honestly, taken at face value the whole thing is a horrific mess and has little to no musical value. However, taken for what it is and appreciating it as a horrific mess, it's superb. Molesting the Decapitated is like a Z-grade splatter film. You don't watch that movie for its cinematic qualities, its thought provoking and personally involving plot, or its top-notch acting: you watch it because it's a cheap movie full of cheap, gory thrills. This album is the same thing in sound form.

There's nothing deep here. Even after listening to the whole album in one shot, from beginning to end, I can barely remember a thing from it. What I can remember is that I enjoyed every second of it. It's entertaining. The riffs are repetitive and they aren't all that memorable, but they're enjoyable. The vocals, as already mentioned are out of this world. The drumming varies from standard issue to absolutely preposterous. There are two distinct sections from the drum track in Choking on Bile that I'm certain were mechanically enhanced. Having spent years around snare drums, I cannot imagine anyone playing a blast beat that fast. It's so fast it's right on the verge of being a drum corps style snare roll. That being said, that doesn't detract from the album's value one bit. In fact, it enhances it. When I heard those rolling spots, I burst out laughing. It's completely insane.

So, to sum it up, the album is an enigma. I don't know if it's bad, good, or so-bad-it's-good. What I do know is that it's enjoyable and it's a fun listen for fans of brutal music. I'm not going to claim it's an all-time great album or even a personal favorite, but I will say that it gets the job done. It will blow your head off, which is probably what happened to the guy on the front cover.