Well! Thrash revival happens to be a sprouting movement lately, trying to invoke the misdirected 80s’ darling – the music that could defy any other metal genre in its content of pure aggression and antagonism. Modern thrash bands though, have a slight twisted route to pull things off – for this, either the bands are seeking to step up the extremity or experimenting to trigger newer sounds, like one of my favorites, Vektor are doing. And then are some self-proclaimed thrashers who ‘mistakenly’ have played groove metal instead. Well, lets not get to that point. But anyway…
The band in hand, Devoid, balances well to put themselves between the retro-sound of thrash metal with a strong blend of originality that offers a slight touch of death metal and hardcore/groove metal intersections. Devoid come from Mumbai, India and “A God’s Lie” is the band’s debut full length album which was released in September 2010 through Demonstealer Records. Great song patterns and a whole lot of brilliant riffing, and I was being ass-kicked already.
The album commences with an acoustic intro, “A Silent Death”, which soon flourishes into the up-front thrash strike of “Battle Cry”. With sirens and gunshots to welcome a listener, the first introduction of the distorted guitars and bass had given me a sort of “Pierced from Within” feel, but soon the sound spreads off in tone that could fairly be derived from any of the traditional thrash records.
Although Devoid cite Slayer as their foremost influence, they have managed well to mark their sound away from them, and hell! I haven’t found any significant amount of Slayerism in here actually, not even any chug based riff. There is also an apparent persuasion of hardcore/grindcore. For example, pop into “Possessed” (00:38) for instance. These hummable melodic parts in amid the avalanche of forthright brutality make this album so pleasant. To speak, I adore moments as such that tempt us bang heads. And hence melody points its existence throughout. You may think of “Enemy of God” melodic thrash but forget it already; this album doesn’t worship Gothenburg sound half its way anyway. Along the play, there were also Lamb of God, Death/Atheist and NWoBHM and groove metal influences felt.
The title track grasps a bit of progressive shape as it tends to go for a few tempo changes with (somewhat) erratic flow here and there. The band members too do not hesitate to mess around a little bit at times before actually hitting off towards full-on thrash. Well, the instrumentations incline a bit towards technical concentrations too, and the complex arrangements from the multiple genre ingredients still are mixed up well, which are proficient to build an in-your-face assault.
Philosophically, the songs are tilted towards ‘new world order and the evils of a prehistoric setup of the social norms and social deities’. The ending track “Beer Song” is actually a distinct one that plays homage towards… beers! “Beer Song” caresses a bit of Megadeth spark, comprising some traditional heavy metal within it. (Why is the song called ‘bonus’ anyway? May be because of the very reason of its concept unfitting with those of others? Perhaps!)
Drumming is a creative territory in the album as well – precise and very well executed fills, rolls and few blast beats providing the rest of the music a robust backbone. And I’ve got another thing to admire – Arun Iyer’s vocals – violent and hateful. We’ve heard a lot of this type before in thrash (or any other extreme metal), but hell I’m really impressed by the aggression he has released. Think of Kelly Shaefer’s work in “Piece of Time” and you already know what I’m talking about. Anyway, the growls are a bit more accurate and deeper than Kelly’s. Sharp! is the word.
The production is near to flawless, which roughly summons the vibes of old school atmosphere. This makes the release unashamedly modern yet grasping the primitive touch. Amogh Symphony, Devoid, Hydrodjent. Man, the Indian bands are just getting better by the day in regard to handling the production facet. The bass drums could have been switched a bit louder in the mix though.
All in all, it’s an excellent display of virulent thrash (/death) attack. This is a five-year-in-making album and the motive and seriousness of the band are further clarified by the super-consistent line-up, to pursue the common aspiration to making the top-notch thrash music possible. The release has already won a great deal of attention worldwide, which suggests the band is really up for a huge run. And so let me revise myself once again – “A God’s Lie” is one of the best metal albums India has to offer lately. Yeah!