Devourment – Conceived in Sewage
Relapse Records, 2013
I have to be honest here: for me the crowning glory of this recording is, about 89% of the time, simply the guitar sound. Not always one to overtly let my eyes roll back and embarrassingly bathe in sonics (outside of song structure, overarching songwriting, whatever other messages the music conveys), especially in mixed company, this album has me reveling in iron-fisted, tyranically controlled distortion and downtuned guitar slaughter to a degree that would discomfort me in a projected externalization if I were somehow an outside onlooker still capable of shame. First and second drafts of the guitar's descriptions were red-facedly lustful while halting a hair's breadth from the queasily sexual or Costanza-like combination of the same and culinary flights, even...Rabelaisian? The words are halting, it's best one witness the darkness, width and breadth oneself, as usual. Download and press play. Buy and wait and press play. Feast. It's death metal. It's catchy, moving, well-written death metal that clawed its way up from outré, contrarian-adoring underground slam. I can only guess (or picture in the mind's eye) that this sound is the product of hushed, eager confabulations and amp-testing sessions between guitarist Ruben and engineer/fellow admirer of all things concrete-laden, Rutan. I would be pleasantly surprised to learn that Rosas entered Mana Studios with everything already planned out and dialed in. Was the Hate Eternal leader able to flex his expertise, show off the capabilities of his studio and gear collection? Maybe some interviewer in the future will ask about this. In any case, it is this incredibly thick, serpentine, black coalescence of punishing (yet beautifully clear) noise that converts the guitar writing from merely an instrument of simple song construction to a device/vehicle of expression that is throwing off band and album-themed signifiers with each note: the guitar sound IS the embodiment of disgusted misanthropy (askance in the mirror), sewer sludge, refuse and detritus-lives, nihilism, hopelessness, slave ideals and dive bar toilet futures. Production as voice, once again. Production as a vital part. That Devourment take this solidified, musical concatenation of ruined, garbage people and cast-off DNA and make it dance, make it sing, make it seem to enjoy and perversely flaunt its own willful worthlessness in the face of an inherited hierarchy of Official Reason, is what becomes their attractiveness, their subversive, irritating, entertaining value...even more: their putrefying (it has to be this way) meaning.
UA - 031613