I have many friends who grew up on Slam Death Metal and particularly the genre’s trailblazers Devourment. I was never overly interested in the genre or band, but had started to come around to them a little bit in recent years.
When Relapse Records announced the new album, I didn’t think much of it and just checked out the first single off of ‘Obscene Majesty’ (embedded below) quite casually. But holy shit, did it ever maul me to fucking pieces. Needless to say, I pre-ordered the album right then and there.
And what a filthy bastard it is! The raw drum production, ridiculously low 8-string tuning and sludgy riffs really sound like Devourment reached into the deepest depths of sonic depravity – all emboldened by the chunk of those guttural vocals.
The riffs often sound like the strings on the Dean 8-string used on this recording are way too thin. When ever you hear an open note on the lowest string, it really takes quite a while to swing into pitch with a big, nasty “doooooooooowww”.
I love the fact that Devourment didn’t try to make their guitars sound overly tight. They can not only get away with it – it actually makes this recording absolutely unique and all the more disgusting. And it’s Slam, so that’s what you’d want, right?
At times, the riffs get so low and murky, they almost remind me of the Australian Avantgarde Death Metal band Portal. So, what the hell, did ‘Obscene Majesty’ come out unintentionally avantgarde? Not quite, but it certainly is a special record and testament to the band’s status in the scene while also pushing the genre’s boundaries.