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Released: 2013, Independent
The island province of Newfoundland, Canada is not known globally as a hotbed of Metal, but there is a small and dedicated scene. It is also the home to the founder and owner of ww.Metal-Rules.com! There are a handful of bands and one of the more promising acts from 'The Rock' (as some affectionately refer to the province) is Devastator. Devastator is a great name for a band but there are already at least 10 bands with the same name, but only one from Canada. The band in various incarnations has been going for over 20 years so they have as much right to the name as anyone.
FRAGILE MESSIAH is the bands second effort after being founded by Herb Simms in 1990 and this is the sophomore effort after a handful of demos and a break to regroup. Now a quintet the lineup has stabilized over the past five years to create a very decent album. I like the album art, it has a bit of a war-like feel, reminding me of something you might see etched on the side of a helicopter during the Vietnam War.
Devastator play an excellent integrated combination of thrash and death. There are also traces of classic Metal as well, but for the most part the music falls in the heavier end of the spectrum. The vocals of Daryl fall right into the Death growl style at times and other he falls back into a more natural singing style. I really enjoy his voice. He employs a wide range, from gruff to clean to whisper. It sounds like there are some vocal effects, like a bit of reverb or echo or something. If there is no studio trickery involved, I'd say he has an extremely unique voice with a bit of a duplex sound going on.
The album is fast but not all out speed, all the time. There is a bit of groove, but not annoyingly so, just enough to be catchy. There is a hint of acoustic guitar to add atmosphere as heard on the start the slower cut 'Black Stump' featuring a heavier vocal. In fact, now that I think about it, a third the album starts with an acoustic guitar...'Blood Sky', 'One More Altar', Killed By Pride and the aforementioned, 'Black Stump'. The rest of the time, the riffs are thick and the solos are good. The production is decent for an indie job.
Despite being a really dark, heavy album, the band does have a sense of humour and throws in a cover of the old Don Henley hit song, 'Dirty Laundry'. Best. Version. Ever. After paying dues for 20+ years, I think it is a safe bet to say this album could be the one that gives the band some of the international attention they deserve.
1. One More Altar
2. Fragile Messiah
4. Dirty Laundry
6. My Own Enemy
7. Blood Sky
8. Delete Me
9. Black Stump
10. Killed By Pride
Daryl Reddy - Vocals
Herb Simms - Guitar
Dwayne Whelan - Guitar
Chris Coleman - Bass
Joe Dolomont - Drums
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