9 tracks - playing time: 41.51 min.
“Verwoesting/Devastation” starts exactly as you might expect from an album with such a title. An explosion of dirty, extreme and ultra fast guitars combined with the monotone hammering of a drum computer. It is a true wall of noise and the first song, “Satan Infinity” shows right away that Sammath has taken things to a new level of extremity.
The music is a mix of extreme black metal and death metal. Sammath opted this time for grunting vocals combined with Jan Kruitwagen’s own black metal shrieking. The combination is certainly refreshing although in my opinion the grunts tend to dominate the music a little bit too much, but that is a matter of personal taste. The songs are very aggressive but there’s enough room for variation, mostly due to well-placed lead breaks and excellent technical guitar riffs. Sammath often uses the bass guitar to ease the tension and break the devastating onslaught for a few seconds so you can catch your breath, which adds an extra dimension to the music.
Although Sammath certainly manages to impress me, there are some things that annoy me. The terrible drum computer smashes on and on in a robot-like fashion. That deprives the music of any feeling and combined with the overly distorted guitars it lends the music a sort of mechanical feeling.
Although this gives Sammath certainly their own sound, I just can’t seem to get used to it. No matter how often I listen to this album, I wince every time the first song starts and the machine sound kicks in. The sound of the album is decent although the black metal vocals could have been mixed in a bit louder. They sometimes drown in the devastating onslaught of the rest of the music.
Sammath again has delivered a very solid extreme black metal album, but I have to warn everyone who doesn’t know Sammath and wants to buy this album. Give this album a listening try first, because the mechanical sound might not be the thing for you, no matter how much you like extreme black death metal.
The absolute best song on this album is the eight minute long “Verwoesting”, which features some excellent guitar riffs. This song is the most black metal oriented song on the album. “Verwoesting/Devastation” ends with a very interesting Kreator cover, “Tormentor”. Sammath plays it in such a mechanical and extreme way that it seems to fit right in. Anyone who doesn’t know “Tormentor”, will have a hard time recognizing it is a cover, even though it is clearly more thrash metal oriented than Sammath’s own songs.
© Rockezine.com Aug 30, 2002, viewed 1398 times since 666