Devourment – Obscene Majesty (Relapse)

It’s been six long years since we last heard from Devourment. Six years in which even more bands inspired by the Texan’s seminal ’99 effort, Molesting The Decapitated, had competed to out slam and out brutalise each other. But they’re back – and with two members of that ’99 line-up (drummer Brad Fincher and vocalist Ruben Rosas) working together again.

And if, in recording Obscene Majesty, the quartet were aiming to reclaim their throne as the most crushing and uncompromising death metal unit on the planet, they’ve succeeded.  

Obscene Majesty is inhuman in its sonic density, a ground-burst nuke obliterating the soul of the earth, a true testament to Devourment’s absolute mastery of brutal death metal.

Arterial Spray Patterns and Truculent Antipathy are senses-bludgeoning morasses of convulsing guitars and depth charge bass, whirlpools of chaos and carnage from which there is no escape or respite. And those blast beat-driven songs are potent enough. Yet Devourment’s ability to weaponise their churning grooves (check out Narcissistic Paraphilia or Profane Contagion) is absolutely jaw-dropping. Dysmorphic Autophagia practically bounces along as it delivers its deadly payload: you can already hear the bones snapping in the pit.

And while you can get your brutal DM/slam kicks from myriad (perhaps too many) sources nowadays, it’s good to be reminded of how genuinely visceral this music can be, when performed with this kind of commitment and intensity. Slam’s progenitors have suffered from a stop-start career and have only released five albums since their mid-90s inception. But Obscene Majesty goes a long way to making up for that.  

Now get devouring…