DEVOTION "The Harrowing" CD (Memento Mori 2021)
The classy 2nd full-length by this Spanish band. Devotion was founded in the autumn of 2012 in some rehearsal rooms near Valencia, where some seasoned veterans of the local underground Death Metal scene were summoned by Julkarn (bass/vocals in Graveyard) to provide backing vocals on a track of their last opus to date. The recruited crew consisted of Sergio (Profundis Tenebrarum, Domains), David Agressor (Domains) and Vicent Riera (ex-Obscure / Nadir). When the recording sessions were over, they decided to start up a new band, featuring Julkarn on guitar, David Agressor on bass, Sergio on drums, and Vicent on vocal duties. After a number of lineup changes over the years, with Julkarn and Vicent remaining the core of the band, it's the addition of David Garcia (ex-Obscure, Nadir) on drums and Txito (Visceral Damage, ex-Voice Of Hate) on bass that finally stabilize the band's lineup. In 2016, Devotion recorded their debut album, "Necrophiliac Cults", only released on CD format through the Spanish labels The Horror Dimension and Pathologically Explicit Recordings. For this recording, the quartet counted on the priceless participation of Igor Mesmer (Circumcelion) on keyboards, who unfortunately passed away shortly after the release. Following the album's release, Devotion played several shows with bands such as Interment, Dead Congregation, Graveyard, Korgull the Exterminator, Mercyless, Putrid Offal, Primigenium, Dead, Schirenc plays Pungent Stench, Oniricous, Balmog, Himura and Convulsions among others, and even despite the current pandemic, the band's more than willing to continue spreading their Metal of Death anywhere possible. At long last, nearly 5 years later, Devotion deliver their 2nd full-length: "The Harrowing". Very aptly titled, "The Harrowing" sees the Spaniards taking their eldritch death in a darker and much-more-haunting direction. The throb is filthy and utterly crushing, and tastefully embellished with otherworldly synth; ghosts could very well linger underneath these megatons of sewer-reeking riffage. Likewise, the 13-track album is structured into "chants" and "dirges" -the former atmospheric interludes no less crucial to the experience, the latter lumbering Metal of Death par excellence. As ever, the ilk of Death Metal that Devotion display is not affiliated to any particular school, let alone any current trend, for it's all about uncompromising, organic, putrid, crushing and timeless Death Metal as we knew it in the early/mid 90's: eminently mid-paced and drenched in a rotting atmosphere, with a strong penchant for memorability and catchiness, which is a trait that seems to be lost in most of today's Death Metal. Fans of über-classic acts such as Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, Morgoth, Benediction, Grave, "The Key"-era Nocturnus, and especially "Testimony of the Ancients"-era Pestilence, are wholeheartedly encouraged to witness "The Harrowing" and partake in Devotion's masterful lurch and crunch. With mastering by Javier Felez at Moontower Studios, you're guaranteed it's crushing as fuck and hauntingly atmospheric, and this monument of madness is suitably completed by Diko Nursyahra's regal cover art.