As I wander down into my lair the ping on my mobile signals only one thing… A new review.
As I open my device it appears that Devouring Famine has finally dropped his second and eagerly awaited second opus “Merge In to Oblivion“.
Having dropped a single from the album and a Split with Sanguine Wounds this monolith of an artist has kept this release under his dark robed persons and has finally unleashed it to the public, seeing it listed as both Doom Influenced and ambient it has certainly wet one’s appetite and the wanting to dig into this entity’s tasty morsels of musical genius certainly does intrigue one’s self
As I light the candles and turn my sand timer over I stare distantly into the dim yet intriguing shadows that dance upon my hollow walls. As I hit play I await the music to seep through my headphones and embrace me much like the darkness of my hollow comforts my soul.
Track One “The Dark Passenger” opens with a chilling yet subdued intro before lunging from the depths of his slumber into a furious chilling black metal attack. Yet something is different the production is as clean as a whistle with every instrument paramount within its position. Just a minute and forty in and we’re witnessing the dawning of a new age. These new sections interwoven into the foray of B.M. are creating further depth what would seem to be a more prog element to these tracks is just another slab of icing on this particularly seductive acts repertoire. With beautiful bass solo segments shining through the raw black metal foray it makes for this first track to appear very concept worthy. Yet the mix of the two are very welcomed and shows the worthiness of being amalgamated together. The song shifts between more calming moments to that of an all-out black metal attack. As the track comes to a flailing fast-paced, face-melting end it is easy to see that D.F. are back in the hot seat and is ready to deliver.
Track Two “Discordant Dirge” starts with a stunning discordant riff that builds as a slow and hard track. The lead holds those chilling and cold riffs while the rhythm holds the low-down dirty thick riffs. The vocals range from low growls to piercing vicious screams. This could almost be hailed as an instrumental number with the music doing most of the work. This is in no means a bad thing, there are many peaks and flows to this track that take it from the title name Discordant Dirge to many crescendo levels. Mixing a definite doom element here upon this track with an almost seductive Symphonic black metal twist minus the synth work.
The guitars create the atmosphere with their chilling and melodic riffs and another bass interlude manages to make an appearance separating the layers of music talent before the track dives back into a flourishing ending. Again the entity manages to mix and conjure styles like an absolute B.M. Wizard it can safely be said this entity has what would seem the Midas touch within the genre the track cuts off quickly and abruptly though having run at a 6:26 sec it’s easy how this song given the chance could’ve been a whopping 14 min plus track. With so much to listen to between versus this could certainly be a future option for this entity to look into.
Track Three “Vil Requiem” starts as quick as where the previous track left off and shoots straight into huge blast beats and some grinding riffs. The bass adds some warm notes underneath before given a chance to shine through at the one-minute mark. I’m certainly loving these little bass licks that get interwoven into the tracks. There is a definite rhythmic element to this album, you can hear the drums andbass working in complete harmony on these tracks but none so more on this one. Amidst the churning guitar riffs if you listen with a close ear you hear those almost sensual warm tones drifting through and providing a great rhythm for the Drummer to follow.
As the song almost comes to a stop the guitars ring out and everything is taken to a slow, melancholic outro. Now I’ve nodded in previous reviews that D.F. has adapted or melded the sound of Shining especially the sound captured from “V” “Halmstad” especially this outro which has those amazing touches of “Lägtar Bort Från Mitt Hjärta’s” opening, whether intentional or just coincidence this is one of the most beautiful openings I’ve heard within the B.M. genre and to pay hommage or happy mistake an outro just like it I’ll just say “mwah”.. chef’s kiss right there. The bass on this outro is just sublime and the harrowing and melancholic guitar outro honestly perfect.
Track Four “Vampire Curse” is the longest track coming in at a striking 7:06 sec. With another truly discordant riff opening up this track the piercing tones strike right through you. That is until the bass and drums come rumbling in lifting those shrieking tones and subduing and bathing them in warmth.
The track shifts and moves with slow and sombre sections that soon lead into much faster-paced verses. Again mid way the bass and drums have a little opening where they work in harmony with the chilling atmosphere of the guitars, a slight peek into that last closing riff leaks through into this track creating a direct follow-through of the previous track which Is a great nod. The track later flourishes into a great and chaotic ending. The instruments all jostling for supremacy however the battle for the top spot is still controlled and with order. Creating a great close for this track.
Track Five “Ni todo que muere es finalmente olvidado, ni todo lo olvidado muere” which translates to “Not everything that dies is finally forgotten, nor does everything forgotten die” despite going for the longest title since Type O Negative did this as a track name “The Glorious Liberation of the People’s Technocratic Republic of Vinnland by the Combined Forces of the United Territories of Europa” still nice try D.F. I do think Type O beat you on this occasion. Anyway back to the review, this track is a purely instrumental number. The sound of a crackling vinyl in the background makes it sound like your listening to a different act.
This disjointed piano piece is enough to strike a little horror into one’s soul. Almost a little phantom of the Opera in style a lonely pianist plays. The keys and notes that play certainly reflect the title, should anyone be bothered to translate it. Me personally when conducting my reviews I like to do this as it gives me a deeper sense of understanding a track and its emotion and sound. There are moments captured where this track almost positively uplifts and leads you out of the darkness and there are moments where it takes you to the depths of despair. You can hear every emotion captured within the entity’s playing style. It leaves a lasting feeling in your musical soul.
Track Six “The Devouring Phantoms” Well given the description I penned in the last track it couldn’t have had a more apt name. This track has something else this has a feeling to it that may be shot down in flames for, but it has a certain Californian groove to it. This being the part of the U.S.A., the entity hails from it’s easy to see why it would have that little infection on the entity musically. This has great credence and gives me those little chills back to a certain band from Cali that has always had my heart for being such an underdog band. Anyway,
I digress this track moves from chilling yet groove-laden segments to warm breaks feat both bass and guitar battling it out for supremacy upon this track and what a battle it is. As both instruments tussle for the top spot, it’s like the drumming breaks up the battle only to bring the two instruments back into line. As they rejoin the foray and play out like howls in the night the vocal work closes this track perfectly with some venomous harsh lyrics.
Track Seven “Infernal Grasp” takes us straight back to the sound of the first track and that prog metal sound of the likes of Mastodon breaks through seamlessly with this blend of black metal. The choice of conjoining these two whether intentional or just a great sheer musical talent is anyone’s guess. The music is just immense on every scale. So many twists and turns, from rhythm to tonality. You just can’t hang anything on this entity. As the track shifts towards the close we almost enter into a surf rock element, this is a surprise shift, clean guitars and drums lead this little ditty away from the darkness not before we plummet headfirst into the blackening sound we all know and love only for it to be taken away by a cold and abrupt close to the track.
As I sit back in my little cavernous lair and the candles have just about burnt down to their nubs I sit and roll a cigarette and inhale and ponder to myself.. hmm doom influence? Now I’m all for letting people know what may have influenced an album’s sound a little but to put this at the forefront of the description is a little misleading at best, was this all a test for those who don’t listen to the full album? I state this because I got so much more from this album than just Doom. So to those who’ve reviewed this and said “Yep doom influenced”. Yes, there are elements where it leaks through but come on there is so much more if you listen and I do mean listen. From the instrumental side of things, the shining dsbm influences those little Cali grooves. Did we all listen to the album?
Honestly Devouring Famine is more than just a one-trick pony and will interweave musical influences from just about anywhere. Having spoken closely with the entity myself he has admitted so to me himself. So to almost pigeonhole this album with a doom title is subjective and if that’s all a listener can muster as a description of an amazing and yet another three-dimensional album from this truly talented entity then shame on you. I for one enjoyed every twist and turn this album took me on, a journey for sure one that fits the album’s title Merge Into Oblivion.