Sunday, August 31, 2008

Devourment - 1.3.8 (V)

Devourment's 1.3.8 is something of a classic in the gore and death scene - originally formed in San Antonio in '95 with Chicagoan vocalist Wayne Knupp, Devourment wandered through the next 4 years with lineup changes, releasing a couple of demos and replacing Knupp with Ruben Rosas - as much as possible. Rosas recorded vocals on Devourment's 1999 release, Molesting the Decapitated, before being jailed, during which time Knupp rejoined the band and recorded the track "Babykiller," which saw release on the Southern Uprising compilation, and then the Devourment compilation 1.3.8, featuring that one track, three from the earlier Impaled demo with Wayne Knupp, and 8 with Rosas' vocals from Molesting the Decapitated.

Not confusing at all.

"Babykiller" is a classic track. Don't read the lyrics. Whatever you do, don't read the lyrics. But the track is the perfect slam-dancing beast, and Knupp's vocals are pure raw gurgle. Right down to the 24 or 25-second extension at the end of the track.

The next three tracks, from the Impaled demo, aren't as well-produced. And that's saying something; "Babykiller" is RAW. Incredibly scooped distortion and all. And the Impaled tracks are a few good notches muddier. The songs are great. The messy bits are perfectly messy, and the chugs are clear and heavy. Knupp's gurgling is as gory and indecipherable as ever.

That said, I tend to skip past the Impaled tracks to hear the better-recorded versions of the same songs from Molesting the Decapitated. Rosas' vocals don't have quite the same raw edge, but they're definitely in the right mold to fill the gaps, and the production is comparatively without blemish. The tracks have the traditional gore soundclips about murder and the like, but the whole album is filled with appealing dance grooves. This is happy music. In a gore-dripping, dark, hateful way. Get this stuff and enjoy it . . . unless it's too far below your artsy standards or the focus roils your gut, you will.

And Devourment's writing a new album - and don't forget to check out Butcher the Weak in the meantime.

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