Devourment// Conceived In Sewage
Rating: 4.0/5.0 – I WATCH THEM DIIIIEEE!!
Label: Relapse Records
Websites: myspace.com | facebook.com
Release Dates: EU: 2013.02.22 | NA: 02.25.2013
Written By: Potato Jim
Ignore the album title; this is some seriously ferocious stuff. I may have already stated my ambivalence towards death metal of the “brootalz” variety in my previous review, but Conceived in Sewage seems a rather straightforward affair. Devourment have been hailed as one of the premiere bands within said subgenre, and I can understand why; the songs kick ass. According to their label, Relapse Records, “Devourment have a simple goal; to put your teeth on the curb and stomp on your head.” While this might be somewhat of an exaggeration as to what the band has accomplished, rest assured, Conceived in Sewage is an absolute assault.
From the get-go, Conceived in Sewage makes the listener, for lack of a better description, its bitch. No eerie keyboard build-ups, no string sections to build suspense, no bullshit [just bitch making? — Steel Druhm]. The first track “Legalize Homicide” treats the listener to dizzying drum fills, grunts and crunchy guitars, which then builds to a big noisy wall of grimy, head-banging savagery. Sounds familiar? Sure, that description could have been used hundreds of times for almost every other death metal album review ever. But the song, much like the rest of the album, does an awesome little trick that I do not hear often in modern extreme metal; it changes. Showing an uncommon taste for dynamics the track grinds to a slow, pummeling crusher; beating the listener to the ground with crushing riffs and drumming.
It sounds like I’m praising Devourment for something really trivial, but a bit of cohesion and dynamics within these songs really makes a difference. It’s exhausting for the listener to endure the exact fucking same sound for well over four minutes, and the band knows this. “Fucked with Rats,” “Heaving Acid,” “Fifty Ton War Machine” and even the militaristic interlude “March to Meggido” all have distinct riffs, focusing more on one instrument than another. Listeners want this, they want to feel like they can stop listening for a moment, and come back feeling like they actually missed something. For this alone, Conceived in Sewage deserves recognition, in a wave of br00tal bands that think 45 minutes of blast beats and guttural vocals make for interesting listening.
What I also find refreshing about this record, is that it actually feels fun [fun AND br00tal?? — Steel Druhm]. There’s virtually no shock factor to it. The general populous within the metal community, in this day and age, have become desensitized to gory imagery, be it in the lyrics or album art. It takes a lot to shock or disgust us, so really, what else is there to do with your death metal band than, well, have fun with it by making a bunch of kickass songs? This is not to say that Conceived in Sewage is perfect, mind you. At least two of the tracks are total duds, at least when compared to the other tracks. I wouldn’t exactly miss “Heaving Acid” or “Fucked with Rats,” despite how hilarious the titles are.
In addition, Devourment haven’t produced anything that would re-invent the wheel, but they don’t need to. Conceived in Sewage will hopefully live on to be remembered as one of the few diamonds floating about in the festering, rancid sea of shit that is known as “the majority extreme metal.” This is all we need, really. So I tip my hat to Devourment, for making death metal fun again. Good god have I missed that feeling.