Released: 2008, Rockadrome
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Texas-thrashers Devastation are back… with a fair vengeance, I could add. And that´s the good news itself, I guess. To support the band´s new coming - with a new line-up (only the vocalist Rodney Dunsmore is left from the original Devastation line-up), Rockadrome from San Antonio, Texas, decided to re-release the pinnacle album of Devastation´s whole career, IDOLATRY, all over again - with 3 bonus tracks that are all new Devastation material. Kinda keeps all of us hungry ´til the band´s next record is unleashed on our way, doesn´t it?
As for IDOLATRY, as each and every true thrash fan should know by know, the very album is plain neck-snapping thrash of the highest calibre. Outstanding yet kinda underrated thrash album where the heaviness of Dark Angel´s TIME DOES NOT HEAL gels beautifully with the catchiness of Sepultura´s BENEATH THE REMAINS… well, sort of. IDOLATRY breathes the true thrash spirit with both its lungs, and songs like “Deliver the Suffering”, “Freewill”, “Forsaken Hatred” and “Subconscious” for example, surely didn´t leave any one of us cold.
Many thrash metal albums were spat our way in the late ´80´s and early 90´s, and of the many that got lots of intense rotation at the houses of thrash fans - somehow however, Devastation never quite reached the same heights as many of their fellow workers in this particular genre (Dark Angel, Sacred Reich, Slayer, Sepultura - just to name only a few). Even now, some 17 years later, IDOLATRY sounds fresh and vital; a robust and bone-breaking slab of thrash that still stands among the most impressive and finest thrash albums recorded ever of its genre.
Ron Dunsmore, the band´s longtime vocalist, was often criticized for his vocal delivery for being perhaps too hardcore-ish for Devastation, but on IDOLATRY he sounds actually really good, reminding of Dark Angel´s Ron Rinehart a bit here and there, which cannot be a bad thing by any means, can it? ;o)
IDOLATRY has definitely stood the test of time in a fine way, representing a top-notch thrash album from the times when the whole thrash metal scene was really flourishing and wholeheartedly loved by metalheads around the world.
As far as this re-release of IDOLATRY goes, naturally most of our main interest is focused on these three new songs they have recorded exclusively for the re-release of IDOLATRY. The first song, “Blood for Blood”, could well fit into Slayer´s DIVINE INTERVENTION album, having very similar guitar riffs and tone on that Slayer album. Then we enter "Desolation", which is kinda Black Prophesies" by Dark Angel meets the R.I.B.-era Slayer type of effort. Excluding Dark Angel´s vibe, almost the same words go for "Tomorrow We Die", which definitely owes a thing or two to Slayer´s R.I.B. album as well.
It´s not only because of some of the riffs that bring Slayer´s huge ghost strongly to my mind, but also because of this certain flow how these new Devastation songs progress on, from riff to rhythm to chorus - all proving the fact how influential band Slayer still is today - even for old farts like the reunited Devastation troops. What people will also recognize about these 3 new songs, Ron has also changed his vocal style to a harsher and definitely thrashier direction over these past years, which is a good thing, of course (maybe aging has something to do with it, too?).
To sum up this review somehow, I can only say thrash will never die, Devastation show no signs of slowing down - and the legacy of IDOLATRY will live on from one thrash generation to another ´til the end of mankind.
Good to have them back…