Review – Deivos: Theodicy

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Review – Deivos: Theodicy
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Deivos: Theodicy
Technical Death Metal
Selfmadegod Records
February 15th, 2015
Release length: 38:58
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When it comes to Technical Death Metal, Poland’s Deivos have been leading the pack in the underground as of late. Formed in 1997, the group didn’t get much a break until nearly ten years later. 1999 saw their Praised by Generations demo drop, followed by their 2003 self-released EP Hostile Blood. In late 2006, the then four-piece issued their debut full-length Emanation from Below through Empire Records, which led to a deal with Unique Leader Records to unleash their follow-up efforts Gospel of Maggots in 2010, and Demiurge of the Void a year later as a five-piece. This new line-up proves to be the most star-studded ensemble yet. Joining founding guitarist Tomasz Kolcon (ex-Confusion, ex-Engraved) is long-time drummer Krzysztof Satan (Abusiveness, ex-Christ Agony), guitarist Piotr “Mścisław” Bajus (Moon, Ulcer), as well as bassist Kamil Stadnicki and vocalist Hubert “Angelfuck” Banach, both of which not only from the bands Ulcer and Soul Snatcher, but also having joined the ranks in 2010. Armed with a fresh and sturdy new line-up, not to mention about four years to mature further, Deivos return with their fourth studio album, Theodicy, this time through Selfmadegod Records. But is it a crippling assault this time around, or is it just overly complicated garbage?

It needs to be said right off the bat that Theodicy‘s technicality does not rely ly on over-the-top complexities and showing off how incredibly technical the music can be all the time. It has its moments, but for the most part the material is incredibly well paced and backed by a great deal of attitude, allowing each performance to flow naturally from start to finish. “Theodicy” takes it’s time to build from the otherwise crushing industrialized introduction, playing off the depressing iron works sensation of the past with a steady rage that continues picking up both intensity and complexity. Of course that isn’t just limited to the instruments, but also in timing. Once you pass the well executed brief solo about three minutes in you jump between blast beats, soul crushing riffs with a hint of melody, as well as some simpler grooves that sometimes have a hint of Hardcore behind them.

“Amor Sui” moves along at this pace as well. Infectious burdensome riffs laced with periods of enthusiastic aggression line the walls after the introductory hammering against some kind of metal in the distance. There’s also plenty of grooves present that can give bands like Cannibal Corpse a run for their money as they become r thanks to the additional lead hooks layered atop at key times, such as around five minutes in when the performance reaches its pinnacle, only to assert a steady dominance once more less than a minute later. But then there’s “El Shaddai”, which is one of the more epic performances on the album. The main verses often sound fairly restrained, yet still infectious enough to get your head bobbing along, though not as rough as the heavier, more complex segments that have some traces of Demigod-era Behemoth aggression behind them. However, such as around four minutes in, there are some additional layered hooks that create a truly ominous environment that leaves you battered and broken.

There’s rarely an ill-fitting or awkward moment to be found on this release other than some of the Industrial or Ambient elements that come into play. The segway between “El Shaddai” and “Ochlocracy”, for instance, is as rough as it is out of place. It plays into the far more venomous aggression behind the latter of those two, yes, but it just doesn’t fit the overall tone of the album. Much like some of the random Electronica bits bands like Deadlock will incorporate randomly, this transition takes you out of a burdening world that (to me at least) is lined with early unsafe steel mill-grade factory conditions right into a world of Ridley Scott’s Alien-like Science Fiction. Thankfully what follows is near-unbridled aggression, hammering fast paced intricacies in both the guitars and drums that make you forgive the bone-jarring jump in atmospheres as it fluidly moves into slower material with enough tension to leave you drowning in paranoia and unease. Unfortunately, it’s abruptly dropped for more of that out of place ambience that kicked it off, leaving you craving more from the otherwise memorable track.

Deivos may not have churned out a number of releases since their formation in 1997, but what they have released have all been high quality bouts of Technical Death Metal that only get stronger the more they mature and evolve. Theodicy is no exception to this rule. While some of the introductory pieces of ambience don’t always fit the overall tone of the album, each track stands as a well paced assault that leaves you banging your head along to varying degrees with each track that passes. With a world of technical musicians feeling the need to show off their skills with overly complicated, often inhuman performances, Theodicy stands as a release that doesn’t need to cater to that brand of showmanship to cave your skull in.


01. Theodicy – 7:00
02. El Shaddai – 7:16
03. Ochlocracy – 6:32
04. Mandatory Mayhem – 7:02
05. Amor Sui – 7:49
06. Parasite – 3:57
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Deivos
Deivos

Digital review copy of this release provided by Selfmadegod Records.