Devilish Impressions - The I 01Before reading this here review, do me a huge and grab your nearest dictionary. Go on, I’m a patient man-cat. Scroll to the letter “E” and look up the word “experimental” for me. “Experimental,” by definition, relates to ideas never used before, or lands never traversed prior. It means that whatever this amalgamation is, it’s something that truly hasn’t been done before. It’s tough to pull off in metal music, but it does happen. So when the word “experimental” (and next-of-kin descriptive noun “individualistic”) gets thrown about in a one-sheet promo PDF, the hairs on my neck stand on end. So, with this, we have The I, the fourth album by Polish blackened death metal trio Devilish Impressions.

And if “experimental” also had a definition of “sounding like a certain fellow Polish band whose name begins with B and whose pronunciation rhymes with ‘tee-HEE-moth,'” then The I is, indeed, experimental. Mind you, there are worse bands to appropriate, and the title track kicks the album off on the right foot at least. Icanraz blasts convincingly, and his pummeling at the track’s end draws your ear like it should. The riffing of Quazarre and BP is tight, if a bit derivative. That said, you will be headbanging, I guarantee you. Immediate follow-up “The Dove and the Serpent” deploys heavy atmosphere and build-up, with a chorus riff that’s tight and catchy, like a lot of Behemoth‘s slower numbers. From the sounds of things, The I appeared to be building up to a decent, if derivative, take on blackened death metal.

Sadly, the rest of the album doesn’t hold up to the promise of the first two songs. Most blackened death metal works best when it’s kept short and sweet. The rest of the album is long, drawn-out, and woefully boring, sounding like a cross between the more tepid cuts from both Dimmu Borgir and modern-day Rotting Christ. “Blood Imprinted Stigmata” would make a decent five-minute song with all the fat taken out, but at ten minutes, things become torturous. Closer “The Fatal Messiah” is a decent four-minute song stretched to more than double the length for no reason. “Eosphorous,” which thankfully dips below five minutes, feels longer thanks to the lack of creative riffs and some rather questionable clean singing to “compliment” Quazarre’s preccccciousssss rasping. And besides the sweet Mike Wead (King DiamondMercyful Fate) lead that kicks off “Ipse Philosophvs, Daemon, Devs et Omnia,” that song drags as well.

Devilish Impressions - The I 02
At least it sounds good, if a bit compressed. The drums sound powerful without being too overbearing, the guitars cut and slice convincingly, though the bass… is there. Out of all the blackened death metal I’ve heard lately, The I stands tall as one of the better sounding albums in recent months. It’s just a shame that it’s wasted on such a complacently average album. Devilish Impressions took absolutely no risks here, other than repeatedly beating a dead horse to the point of it resurrecting into a zombified version of itself, just to beat it some more. Also, where the hell is the energy? I don’t know which is worse: hoping the band would partake in some caffeine to inject some much-needed ooomph in the music, or me needing it just to power through to the album’s end.

And that is a bad thing when your record company talks a big game about your music being “experimental.” It’s a dangerous word to throw about when you’re gambling on a record’s success. Even worse still is when the album fails at being experimental, captivating, or enjoyable. The I may not be a bad record, but it does classify as being remarkably unmemorable, and that’s a worse affliction.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Lifeforce Records
Websites: devilishimpressions.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/devilishimpressions
Releases Worldwide: September 22nd, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    DID THE SEPTIC TANK EXPLODE ON THEM

    • Mollusc

      I was going to say “no your mum did”, but then I thought better of it.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Best to just leave the Mom’s out of it….

        • Mollusc

          My thoughts exactly!

        • [not a Dr]

          Our favorite concrete container NEVER lets anyone’s mom out of anything.

    • sir_c

      They were close to the lava, obviously, when all of a sudden a hobbit fell in right before them, hissing about his preciousss

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Corpsepaint by Jackson Pollock.

  • Martin Knap

    You should write a [Things you might have missed] about Fleurety’s newest.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Definitely a step down from the more evil Devil Impressions

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    So their experiment was “What if we sound the most like Behemoth”?

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      Perhaps the experimenting was more “behind the scenes “….nudge nudge wink wink….

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      All they’re missing is the leather skirts. Although the weird buttflaps are kind of similar.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        “Weird Buttflaps” would be an awesome band name. I just don’t know what kind of music the “Weird Buttflaps” would play.

        • eleven.eight

          I have no idea either. Would the support band on their tour be Butt Aus Nord?

    • Here’s Johnny

      they don’t sound like Behemoth. as soon as Poland is mentioned the Behemoth klaxon gets sounded. does every Scottish band get compared to Alestorm? fuckin hope not!

      • Grymm

        Outre, Deny The Urge, and Vader are also Polish, and they sound nothing like Behemoth.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I initially read “Eosphorous” as “Esophagus”. Hmm. How about a concept album on the various vital organs? That would be novel, if not experimental.

    • John Mosley

      Pitch this idea to Carcass.

    • Nukenado

      Hell yeah.
      These loose concept records are always interesting.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      The last song would be a cover of Denis Leary’s “Asshole”, right?

      • Monsterth Goatom

        That would be the Colon song (aka “Come Journey with Me”), an emotional power ballad in G.

    • Master of Muppets

      I… like that idea far more than I should. I wonder if we could get Ms. Frizzle on board.

      • Nukenado

        Frozen-in-space Arnold does the death vocals then?

        • Master of Muppets

          I was hoping to coax Bill Nye into providing guest growls a là Nile. I figure if I tell him it’s for science, he basically has to sign on.

  • welyyt
  • Name’s Dalton

    Dude has blood on his hands. Speaking of bloody imagery, will AMG be reviewing the new Unsane? I’ve already pre-ordered it and have been a fan since their early singles between ’89 – ’90, so I guess I’m asking more out of hopes at turning a few more people on to their sludgy noise rock.

  • Mollusc

    Devilish Impressions: The bum divots in Satan’s favourite armchair, or the band saying “better reign in hell…” (or similar) and laughing maniacally.

  • Eli Valcik

    It’s not bad, it’s “experimental.”

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      A few days ago on the Wolves In The Throne Room review I said that “When going “experimental” one must always remember that failed experiments are not meant to be released to the public”

      • Eli Valcik

        Like the Dr. Moreau of albums.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        If David Banner taught us one thing ….it was this.

  • Alex

    I love this site but 2.0 is a bogus score. This is pretty solid. To me, 2/5 is – don’t bother ever. But this whole album has a cool flow and doesn’t suck.

    • Nukenado

      Well, to this site, it’s “disappointing”, not “don’t bother ever.”

    • lrn2swim

      Agreed, solid 3.5 easy. Love the proggy breakdowns and thrashy solos.

  • Gibblety

    Moron says he doesn’t like the compression…of an mp3. Jesus Christ spare me the stupidity. I hope your mom takes your internet away for writing something so ignorant.

    • Nukenado

      The smartass can’t tell the differrnce between digital file compression and in-studio audio compression.

    • Master of Muppets

      Wishes for internet ban due to “writing something so ignorant”
      Knows nothing about what he talks about and uses internet to write something ignorant.
      Super proud of you, homie.

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Dynamic compression and file-format compression are not the same thing, numbnuts. It’s hilarious how passionate you are about things you don’t understand at all.

      • sir_c

        I always rar my mp3s and them pull them through Handbrake. Then, after
        some multipass compression, I will let my fat aunt sit on the disk for a
        fortnight. I have the whole Zappa catalog on a 1.44MB floppy!

        • [not a Dr]

          FASOD is the most awesome compression algorithm ever.

          • sir_c

            The only algorithm that can trump this is IRS, to literally squeeze the last drop out

    • herrschobel

      i never like to say that ..but: pack your bag and leave the house son

    • Grymm

      You mean to tell me that compressing a music file in a studio during the mixing process never happens? Really?

  • Here’s Johnny

    Loved their other albums, from what i’ve heard of this it might be a step down but i need to give full listen.

    I do think the Behemoth comparisons that come out for any Polish band(Hate) is really lazy though, they don’t sound like them at all.

  • h_f_m

    Based on this review and score I was expecting to dislike the embed. I was surprised. It’s pretty good. Dig it.

  • Ryan Logan

    Thank you Mr kyle Hewitt for making me who i am today my story started in 2013 when I was in hollywood and i was seekig for how to be come the best actor and famouse here on earth and I spent all the money I had and I also sell all of my properties here in State and I did not achieved it until I met Mr kyle Hewitt, the man who later made me spiritual and physically strong on this earth. This man made me even what i dont expect. Now can wish for anything i want and i must surly get it. Thank you very muh, Mr kyle Hewitt for everything you have done for me. I can not stop thanking you until I tell the whole world how good you are, you can contact Mr Kyle via email: [email protected]