Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Devilish Distance - Deathtraction

I've had a random attack of tachycardia in the past few days and with that lame, fake Hallmark holiday being this past week, naturally I've spent more time with my girlfriend than on the internet. I'm jumping back into reviewing tonight though so get ready for a heavy dose of criticism (or praise).

I hadn't heard of Devilish Distance until a few weeks ago when I checked out their newest release, Deathtruction. These Ruskies have a sound not too distant from Polish acts Vader, Decapitated, and Behemoth (and by extension the mediocre wannabes Hate). Devilish Distance play that same brand of pseudo-technical death metal but with quite a bit more groove and time signature changing. It's a little refreshing to hear a bit of Decapitated worship in lieu of the shitty Carnival Is Forever too...

That cover art is pretty fucking cool despite the album having a dumb title a fourth-grader could've come up with. The color scheme and zombified bishop both evoke a sense of decadence which I can't really say fits the music, but it's cool nonetheless. The music on Deathtruction nails the modern death metal mold, and if that's your thing then you'll enjoy this overused harmonics and all. Tracks like "In Hate We Trust" and "Perverted Existence" really do sound like a mid-era Decapitated, as they are littered with technical melodies and intermittent chugging. Opener "Apocalypse," "Legion Christless," and thrashy, symphonic-intro'd "Panzerfaust" tend to borrow more heavily from Vader as they implement thick tremolo riffs and high-speed blasting. One of my favorites is "Spread Of Infection" which completely blindsided me with a random, highly melodious sequence.

All in all I have to hand it to these guys. Their playing is pretty polished and they're all technically proficient. Even the production stands out as audible basslines lead into more frenzied technical riffing while the drumming is always precise and the snare doesn't sound disgusting. There's just one thing that really irks me on Deathtruction, and that's the vocals.

Vocally speaking, the album is somewhere between bad and bearable. The vocals shift from mediocre mid-range growling to dull, robotic sounding rasps which are kind of distracting from all the other talent that went into making Deathtruction (damn that title makes me cringe). While the album isn't original, it's still fun, although how fun is completely determined by how much of this shit you've listened to before.6.5 out of 10


1. Marching Forward
2. Apocalypse
3. In Hate We Trust
4. Legion Christless
5. Stand
6. The Nameless One
7. Legasy of Pestilence
8. Scorn
9. Perverted Existence
10.   Panzerfaust
11.World Beyond (Kreator cover)
12. Spread of Infection
13. 1843

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