Devourment - Obscene Majesty [Relapse Records - 2019]Slam legends, Devourment, are back after six years with their follow up to 2013's Conceived In Sewage. Returning to Relapse Records with the lineup that blasted out Molesting the Decapitated, Devourment unleash Obscene Majesty on a hungry audience. Crushing, slamming heaviness, this chunk of death metal mayhem will darken even the brightest of days.
Chugging along like a vile, black, overloaded locomotive, Obscene Majesty opens with a bang and never looks back. Cruising forward with grim intensity, Devourment slams forth brutal death through blistering drums, guttural utterings, and mosh worthy grooves. Spread over ten pounding tracks, Obscene Majesty has some genuine moments of outright slaughter. Built around the "slam" moments and elevated with blastbeat strengthened fury, Devourment puts the goodies on display with tracks like "Cognitive Sedation Butchery," "Arterial Spray Patterns," "Profane Contagion," and "Dysmorphic Autophagia." In addition to the aforementioned instruments, a thick, grotesque bass often rips through the channels and adds an extra level of discomfort to an already squirm-worthy mix. However, all this fun instrumentation comes at a cost. There is a disjointed feeling to this album, and the changes in tempo and vibe feel unnatural and forced. In addition, the songs are a bit overlong, and with ten tracks, this starts to bring the whole album down. Are the songs really disjointed or do they just feel that way because of their length? Slam always feels like parts are constructed by slapping various bits together, and anything over two minutes is a challenge to listen to.
Devourment's latest, Obscene Majesty, is groove heavy slam album. With hyperspeed bits to crank up the death intensity, the contrast between tones/vibes is very apparent. Unfortunately, this disparity, while nice in small doses, is overused, and the songs are overlong. There are some excellent elements to this album, though, and they're well worth listening to. So, split into two listening sessions, Obscene Majesty becomes more palatable.Paul Casey