(Our brutal-death-minded friend Vonlughlio from the Dominican Republic wrote this review of the new album by Italy’s Devangelic, and if our damned editor weren’t so scatter-brained it would have been posted before the album was released. On the plus side, you can listen to all of it now.)
I’m honored, to say the least, that I have the opportunity to review Italian BDM band Devangelic’s sophomore effort Phlegethon.
The band was founded back in 2012 by Mr. Mario Di Giambattista (Vulvectomy, Corpsefucking Art). That same year the band released a demo of two songs, and it was raw and crushing from start to finish, one of the most-played, if not the most-played, demo for me that year.
Subsequently they signed to Comatose Music and in 2014 released their debut album Resurrection Denied, one of the sickest albums from that year, from the gory cover of a decapitated Jesus to the songs themselves, just raw and riffs for days on end with relentless blast beats. Also Mr. Paolo Chiti’s vocals may have been the best part of it all — the man is one of the best in the genre, with low gutturals and vocal patterns that are memorable. I certainly have to say that among my top debuts in BDM, Resurrection Denied is one of them.
After the release of that album, the band toured around the globe and gained recognition for this effort, and within the next two years they also started the writing process for the follow-up. In 2016 Mr. Marco Coghe (Interminable Corruptions, Catastrophic Evolution, and Posthuman Abomination) joined the band as their new drummer. With the lineup complete, the writing sessions continued with Mr. Giambattista posting snippets of some of the new material, leaving fans wanting more, and me basically harassing him for more.
Flash forward to this year, and Phlegethon was announced with the cover art and a promo song. My first impression was, “They sure toned it down with the cover”, and after I heard the new material, it was clear why the style of the cover had change. The music sounded more natural, as opposed to raw, and you could appreciate the OSDM influences in the structure of the songs, with a BDM delivery.
Once the album became available for me, I stopped everything and gave it a proper listen. After doing that I decided to start at the beginning, with Devangelic’s first demo, and move forward to the current release.
Doing that made clear how the band has progressed toward that more natural sound with a Brutal delivery. In these new songs you can hear various Death and Brutal Death influences, but I’m not going name any since I believe the listener needs to listen closely and make their up own mind about it.
One key element that is present, and has been the key element for all the releases, is the guitar work. Mr. Giambattista is still a riff wizard. He really created some fantastic riffs for the album that are diverse in each of the song’s sections and just flat out show how talented he is. On vocals, Mr. Chiti again demonstrates as why he is one of the best BDM vocalists and one of my all-time favorites. His low gutturals are just filthy, and the vocal patterns this time around feel more diversified than on the debut album. The bass has just the right tone and creeps up in some of the songs in a way that adds more depth. The drums are handled with precision and a flawless execution and are also one of the best aspects of this release.
Overall, I would say that the band stepped up their game and have made the choice of my top 20 2017 BDM albums a lot harder. This is an album that any BDM fan should own, but it is also one that should appeal to fans of other metal genres. This album will be released this Friday October 27th via Comatose Music.
Editor’s Note: You see what I mean? If I’d had my wits about me, this review would have come out before the release date. But now, at least you can listen to the entire album below. The wonderful cover art was created by Sarafin Concepts.