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Quite an Interesting Release - 90%

The Crazy Old School Music Fan, November 10th, 2017

Lately, I have found Sammath's music to be quite interesting. I was introduced to them via Strijd, which I found to be kind of strange for the black metal realm. The even more abrasive than usual production (in my opinion), out there musicianship, and the truly weird placement of keyboards in the songs really created a charm that, at first, I didn't like very much. That album was very much a grower for me. One thing I've noticed throughout Sammath's career is that they never stick to one style; what the releases do have in common, however, is that they are usually either death metal and black metal.

While on Strijd, they performed keyboard-laden black metal, in the case of Verwoesting / Devastation, Sammath plays an extreme form of almost brutal death metal with some blackened elements (such as the shrieked vocals, which sound similar to those on all of Sammath's black metal releases). This release, at times, actually seems to draw from later Sarcofago than the more black metal inspiration that Sammath drew upon with most of their releases.

Musically, this album is much like the band's later releases in that it relies on lots of blast beats to make an atmosphere, whereas keyboards made the atmosphere on Strijd. This also contrasts from that release in the fact that keyboards are completely absent from it. While I don't mind the keyboards on that album at all, the band seems to be focusing more on making efficient riffs here than on the debut. There is also a large prominence of growled vocals that was noticeably absent on the debut. However, the production, while being slightly better than before, is still extremely abrasive. I don't know if it was the compression of the stream I heard, but the album's guitars are rather high in the mix and could've been slightly lower overall.

I guess one could say that, with this album, Sammath started to meld their vision into a reality. Whether this vision has been translated into the perfection that the band wants is beyond me. However, I do know that this album would probably be more enjoyable to a death metal audience than a black metal audience, as it has less influences of black metal than anything else I've heard from the band before or after this.