Released: 2005, Self
Excellent Melodic Death Metal from Austria is what we have here with this self released eight tracker. Of course, influences from early In Flames are both prevalent and apparent, but it really doesn’t matter when the results are this enjoyable. Devanic have a handle on both the modern and old school way of thinking, combining a heavy sensibility with a rich, folk-inspired sense of melody.
Of course, there are still the natural kinks of being a new band to work out, such as song arrangements, but the overall result of MASK INSTALLED is quite accomplished for an act who have barely been in existence for a year (forming in 2004). Guitarists Nikolaus Vuckovic and Christian Novak work very well together, indulging in copious harmony runs and uplifting riff-wrangling, though the thin production quality hurts their overall impact. The solo work more than makes up for this, however, with some really tasty shred sections scattered throughout this disc’s half hour running time.
Vocalist Andreas Danzer possesses a decent enough voice for this style, though I think he will improve with time. His attempts at clean vocals are touch and go, but are subtle, and do not detract from any of the songs’ enjoyment. “I Am” is a particular standout track for the vocalist, his patterns driving along perfectly with the quicker pace of this tune.
Devanic’s MASK INSTALLED gets better and better with each successive listen, which should bode really well for the band’s future, once they hook a deal with a respectable record label. Much in the vein of Swedish act The Duskfall, I definitely see a lot of promise for these Austrian metal bastards, as they definitely possess the talent to stand alongside the next generation of Melodic Death metallers.