Released: 2015, Nuclear War Now! Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Every once in a while I get asked to review something that I feel so disconnected with that I actually skim other reviews for something to latch onto. Mefitic’s “Woes of Mortal Devotion” is exactly that kind of release. I was ready to just drop the hammer on this but I figured I was missing something so skimming I went. As it happens, Mefitic seem to have released the album that splits reviewers evenly too. Having my confidence back that I’m not necessarily off base with my initial thoughts, I’m ready to proceed.
Let me begin by saying that this genre is not my favorite genre of metal. I like variance in music and vocals along with some sort of melody. The musical variance peeks its head up now and again so I’m generally ok on that front. The melody is there, albeit a Black Death style of melody. However, the vocals, too, are there. I swear as I sit here, the singer may just have sung the same lyrics over 8 different musical tracks and I’d never have been able to tell. The vocal is buried deeply in the mix so there’s not much to get from them except that someone is using the microphone at points throughout the song. As a result, I found myself increasingly anxious about having this album end sooner than later. I know this concept will have fans of this genre pissed off to no end and I get that. I do. But if a band in the metal genre can’t create an album that will transcend at least some of the walls within its own genre then what are we doing here really? I’m not suggesting this band should ever shoot for mass appeal or even mass appeal within metal. I’m sure they don’t want any part of that. The trouble with that concept is that your reviewers (and your opportunities) are a diverse gang that allow for musical growth if you can crack those thin walls. And if that answer is that you don’t want to crack those walls so you can be true to a scene or an idea, then so be it. That leaves me with little to say about what you’re doing.
So here’s what I ultimately say: If you like this genre of metal (Occult Death Black as its listed), then this band that has existed for over 10 years deserves your ear. I’ll bet you even find some (maybe lots of) things you like. There’s promise here for every one of us. I can honestly say that.
On the other hand I say: If you like musical variance, you’ll be able to hang in there for a bit with this. If you like vocals, run for the hills because this feels like the same song over and over again vocally. If you like atmosphere, it’s not really here. And I can almost promise that you’ll not be able to name a standout track when it’s all done. There is something to be said, however, for a whole musical experience. That experience will mean very different things depending on where you’re coming from.
Reviewer: Chris Marsh