Review Summary: A hidden gem in the cluttered thrash genre
In the late 90's thrash metal for all intents and purposes died after withering away in slow & disgraceful agony. Groove and nu metal replaced thrash as the popular genres while a young generation of metal heads grew older. However, the golden age of thrash left behind some very fine records that largely went unnoticed upon release, particularly in the early 90's. With today's social forums it is much easier to stumble upon one of these hidden gems, as you just have with this album. Devastation were nowhere near popular in their heyday, but to their merit they recorded material that rivals the likes of Sepultura, Demolition Hammer and Death in terms of heaviness and overall riffage.
sports more than just standard thrash metal. The over the top riffage and spastic soloing is there, but the band also leans hard towards a death metal style similar to the old school scene, with vocals bordering on insanity and a wall of guitars that never let up. Saying this album is heavy may be a bit of an understatement. This album is not geared towards the casual metal fan. Idolatry
may be a grueling experience for some due to the never let up approach taken on this record. There is absolutely no variation from the thrash/death metal style and the album roars at you from start to finish.
If you like riffs, this album has them in spades. Devastation were a technically proficient band and they crafted quality riffs, with more than a few featured in most tracks. Now some technical bands cram ridiculous amounts of riffs into songs and expect things to work and most of the time they don't, but Devastation avoids this issue beautifully. Each riff has time to breathe and add to the song, and the band is careful about overusing them. Solo's aren't in awkward spots either and never overstay their welcome. The drummer deserves a friggin medal for the amount of work he had to do. He just keeps coming at you, never falling below a mid to fast tempo, but of course the bass more or less takes a back seat hear, despite being acceptably audible. Production definitely improved for metal records around this time in the 90's. Idolatry
is by no means over produced like modern thrash albums, but it's leagues beyond the muddied, echo-filled mess that some 80's records were.
Devastation never got the credit they deserved within the metal community. Whether it was simply thrash metal's decline in popularity or a lack of label support, these guys went under the radar. It's a shame considering these guys could have probably outplayed some of the most well known acts of their time. For those familiar with the likes of Demolition Hammer and Death, you just found your next favorite album. This ***s heavy.