Review Summary: Black metal punk reveries to put them to blight.
Only Satan knows in which forsaken catacombs of the Carpathian have Relapse Records found the sextet known as Devil Master. They claim they are from Philly but the Devil can’t trick me. I know exactly when evil forces are trying to make their way into my soul with charming tunes and bewitching words.
Following the release last year of some raw tape recordings and live material compiled by the label under the title Manifestations
, Devil Master debut now with a full length that solidifies them as not just the side project of Cape of Bats and Blank Spell members, but as a full fledged combo with a very clear love for the occult, horror fiction and the sound of legendary Japanese punk acts like Ghoul or G.I.S.M . These are some of the influences that explain the theatrical nature of their live performances, where candles on candelabra and spider webs fill the stage while the band spills cauldrons of pre-Viking era Bathory and Venom-infused riffs in the most unholy of manners.
Baptising their debut as Satan Spits on Children of Light
doesn’t really denote a change of heart in regards to the band’s original concept. With the help of producer Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Code Orange), Devil Master has managed to polish their sound while preserving the gritty, filthy feel of their early material. Inaugurating the ceremony with the creepy sound of a Transylvanian piano melody, Devil Master soon goes haywire with opener “Nightmares in the Human Collapse”, charging with a tremendous drum-beat and ear grinding guitars, and seamlessly transitioning into the glorious death rock of “Black Candle Flame”. In these first ten minutes, newcomers will get a quick taste of what to expect while fans of the old demos will be happy to hear next the re-recording of one of the band’s anthems, “Devil is Your Master”, which blends perfectly with the newest pieces.
There is no respite in Satan Spits on Children of Light
, mostly because it’s not needed. Tracks run around the three minute mark with a few exceptions and the band rarely slows down the pace. Chorus soaked distortion that screams 80s metal, frontman Disembody’s echoed grunts and the primitive, almost beastly drumming are some of the first traits that get burnt in the back of your mind when listening to Devil Master for the first time. But their first full length also benefits from a few surprises in comparison with their previous demos, and so the band plays around with some hair metal in “Her Thirsty Whip” and go full on NWOBHM in “Desperate Shadow”, all without losing a speck of their infectious sound.
Devil Master is just pure, unadulterated, evil fun, like that scene in From Dusk Till Dawn where Tito & Tarantula play instruments made out of human corpses while vampires feast in the blood of the Titty Twister’s clientele. It’s the same kind of lovely absurdity that allows their mix of hardcore punk, surf rock and black metal to work wonders. It’s the kind of *** that could turn a funeral into a necromancer’s orgy, a nun’s hospice into a whorehouse and the Vatican into Sodom and Gomorrah. Be careful though, once the needle goes down on Satan Spits on Children of Light
, the party might just be forever.