Released: 2013, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
The long, strange history of Dallas death dealers Devourment takes yet another odd turn for this their fourth album. After either releasing material on their own or through very small labels over their entire on-again/off-again/on-again/off-again career, and working on a shoestring with underground producer D. Braxton Henry, Conceived In Sewage finds them sporting a new deal with Relapse and recording with renowned producer/Hate Eternal mainman Erik Rutan in his Mana Recording Studios.
And while this good fortune should mean a higher profile for the still-rather-obscure quartet, their recent relative good fortune hasn't meant much of a change in their music. They remain as crude, gnarly and brutal as ever here. Indeed, the clean, almost clinical sound Rutan crafted for Cannibal Corpse is nowhere to be heard. Instead, Conceived is as ragged and filthy as it comes, accentuating Mike Majewski's guttural burp-and-gurgle vocals and the slamming, bowel-loosening churn of his bandmates.
But with songs like “Legalize Homicide,” “Fucked With Rats” and “Heaving Acid,” I guess we really should expect nothing less - or more, as the case may be. The sound and tone matches the low-brow grotesquery to a tee. And at least in Rutan's hands, it's dense, clear and punishing, when it could easily have sounded like so much mud, as some of their previous work has.
The songs themselves are somewhat workmanlike, an incessant chug of defiantly old school death metal that could care less about tunefulness, hooks or technical dazzle. But that's been Devourment's thing since the beginning and they obviously don't feel the need to complicate things here. And there's certainly something to be said for the meat ax approach.