|#FOR FANS OF: Post Black, Altar of Plagues|
Post-black metal is one of those genres that I find too trendy and too hip to listen to. To tell you all frankly, there is only one post-black metal band that I dig, and that is the already split up trio of Ireland’s Altar of Plagues. The band’s first two full-lengths, 'White Tomb' and 'Mammal', are the perfect example of how to create a black metal album that emphasizes more experimentation and a creative expression than other forms.
Today, we have a Lithuanian band named Devlsy who attempted to pull off what Altar of Plagues had achieved with their early releases. However, what Devlsy put out with their sophomore studio record 'Private Suit' had failed to accomplish the standard craftsmanship of their forefather. 'Private Suit' is a record containing a distinctive stylistic blend of post-rock, a little touch of doom along with gothic metal, and of course black metal.
While the album has that upside on its enthralling aura, its overall quality is nothing unique to the post-black metal category. Right from the beginning of the album, the listeners are presented with extensive post-rock strumming which is collaborated with generic blast beats eruption shortly after. There are a reasonable amount of tremolo riffs used in here, but it is just basically to try and catch the listeners attention in an attempt to not make them feel bored. Yes, there is a perceptible presence of black metal ingredient here, but it is not that powerful.
The guitar riffs, while semi-hypnotic in some ways, are very dry and tedious. It is pretty much that generic two-chord riff passages that we can usually hear in a lot of predominant corporate rock-style black metal bands. The riffs are repetitive, irritating, boring, overblown, and just do absolutely nothing special at all. They never progress and they aren’t aggressive. Undoubtedly, the massive sound and sludgy twist of the bass played its part in putting across an emotional meaning behind the tracks in their proposal. It is the only element in the album that gives the whole thing decency. It sets the mood and plays as a solid undercurrent throughout the whole playing time of this release.
We head to the drum part of this material, where it solely depends on the hard-hitting approach of the band’s drummer. There is nothing much exceptional about his style, as the drummer only utilizes those typical blasts that most bands in this genre had engineered and mastered for the duration of their existence. The vocals are also a bit annoying. The roars and spooky wails are kind of bearable, but the soft hissing and clean vocal transition in an effort to change the mood of the songs, ruined the whole thing.
Album mixing is crystal clear, as expected to those records coming out under the post-black metal tag. Almost every instrument is hearable in most of the parts, and their tone holds well together, nothing sounds majorly out of place. The songwriting is tedious, there are no particular frame of mind to the songs, and they don’t have a substantial story to tell. The band undeniably lacks of introspection and presentation while fabricating this material, because the composition of the tracks sounds bland.
To conclude, Devlsy had produced an album not so brilliant, with 'Private Suite'. Maybe if the band had gone to a more straightforward atmospheric black metal manner with this offer, they would have pulled it off and assembled an acceptable release. However, it is evident that these guys have a great potential to become good musicians, it is just disappointing to know that at this point in their career, they are not doing an effort to focus on improving more on the facets that they have odds-on mastering. (Felix Sale)
(ATMF - 2017)