The Devastated: The Devil’s Messenger

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The Devastated: The Devil’s Messenger
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The Devastated: The Devil's Messenger
Death Metal, Deathcore
Century Media Records
August 2nd, 2011
Release length: 4:56
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After hearing that The Devastated comes from the same area of Southern California that bands like Suicide Silence and Winds of Plague originate from, it was enough for me to immediately put my guard up, especially after seeing Century Media Records picked this group up for their debut album, Devil’s Messenger. In early August of 2011, the label issued the band’s debut release, the single of the title track from said album called “The Devil’s Messenger,” which was made available through iTunes. But, does “The Devil’s Messenger” end up being a song to make fans of the Deathcore trend stand up and take notice of this group?

This single was actually a huge surprise and it really encompassed the possibilities that the Deathcore style can hold. First of all, the audio is fantastic, having the crushing sound many Brutal Deathcore bands can have, but without going over the top with it to compensate the music. The bass is loud and prominant in the mix against some crushing guitars with a decent amount of distortion. The cymbols crash loudly on the kit with a nice click on the bass kicks that cause the full snares to come through without completely drowning them out in the mix. The vocals here are a mixture of gritty screaming that works well with the intense atmosphere of the album and crushing music.

While the audio quality alone stands out nicely, the song itself shows the promise that the style offers. There is a superb mixture of both Death Metal chords and some traditional Deathcore chugs, allowing both ideas to work well together and not become a simple chugging motion from start to finish. There’s plenty of changes to the pace of the song, going slower and faster at times, and a good amount of breakdowns that feel natural and don’t succumb to the common one-note-only approach with some creepy simple effects in the background to make them sound richer, though that effect is really not even needed over them. The vocals work every shift in music perfectly, and even incorporate some rhaspy harmonized bits that match the grittiness of the screaming vocals perfectly that add more variety to the mix. The song has a good deal of intensity, but it doesn’t too over-the-top with anything, and that ends up being the only downfall of this song. Clearly the band is playing it safe with this recording and not really going too crazy with the music or putting a good deal of energy into it, but that energetic approach is one of the things that makes the Deathcore style stand out despite how simplistic it becomes. The song also doesn’t really seem to go anywhere sadly, even though the track has a good deal of changes to the music throughout. While it’s clearly bled into from the previous track on the full-length, the song fades out and never really seems to reach the climax it so desperately needs, nor does it really build up to it much outside that more harmonized vocal section.

But, even if this song does feel restrained, it’s an amazing example of what bands can truly do when meshing Death Metal with Hardcore and Metalcore ideas. While the traits of the aforementioned well known bands can be heard in the song, mores Suicide Silence then anything, that meerly comes through as an influence to the song and nothing more. The track has it’s own unique sound and really makes the band sound like a promising up-and-comer to the Deathcore field, handling it right without succumbing to the most minimalist of ideas in an attempt to sound “br00tal.” If you want to hear what this style can offer a listener, or you just want to hear some enjoyable Death Metal or Deathcore, then “The Devil’s Messenger” is a must own single, even though it is only a digital download.

06. The Devil’s Messenger – 4:56 Overall Score: 8.5/10
The Devastated (band)
The Devastated
Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.