Released: 2016, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
2014’s CORPUS EP was a fun exercise in moshcore leaning death metal, but Helsinki’s Devenial Verdict are aiming for something more substantive on their latest release, SOULTHIRST.
Out of the gate, you’re confronted with a very different take on the band’s sound. The eerie build-up to “Thrones” eventually gives way to restrained, mid-tempo riffs, discordant chord progressions and some impressive percussion signatures. Vocalist Riku Saressalo still sounds like he’s gargling razor blades, but he’s finessed his growl into more structured vocal patterns which go a long way in helping the guide the tune. If you’d compare “Thrones” against “The Hour is Late for Traitors” from CORPUS, you’d almost think these were two entirely different bands.
“Fall of Faith” settles back into more of the deathcore crush of the band’s past, but sweep picking and the doomy exterior of the tune almost give it a Gorguts or Tucker-era Morbid Angel vibe. “Sun Hammer” absolutely rips as a straightforward OSDM tune, accelerating the pace of the album into the like-minded “The Corinthian”. “Despoiler” closes SOULTHIRST as a sort of bridge between Devenial Verdict’s past and present, selectively resurrecting some of the breakdowns and slam into their new recipe, but it’s less of a crutch this time around than it is a point of emphasis.
What a difference a couple of years can make, eh? Whether it was a conscious change of pace or a natural maturation for Devenial Verdict, SOULTHIRST is a totally satisfying collection of death metal tunes that should please fans of both old and new schools. Check out Devenial Verdict’s Bandcamp page for a listen and purchase info.