Thursday, March 8, 2012

Devourment - Butcher the Weak

I’ve come to love Devourment so much that around the time of the new year, I decided that Unleash the Carnivore just wasn’t enough anymore; I needed more Devourment! I looked up some other reviews on Devourment’s other two albums and chose the one that got higher scores, Butcher the Weak. Just so that people don’t think I’m a disrespectful bastard, I know about the unfortunate passing of the man whose vocals appear on this album. But this review isn’t at all a tribute to him. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way (hopefully), let’s go into an analysis of this crushing record. The first thing that I would tell anyone about Butcher the Weak is that it has a lot less faults than Unleash the Carnivore, but its strengths aren’t quite enough to surpass the following release. I can see how a lot of people can find this album more devastatingly brutal than Unleash the Carnivore, because of the way the album was produced and how everything sounds. When you look at the music, Unleash the Carnivore’s underlying sound slams much, much harder.

But remember, brutality isn’t everything (although some people are very picky and critical when it comes to brutality, especially the “slam death” fans). I’m not going to stress the amount of brutality that Devourment is capable of dropping on you because I go on about that in my review of Unleash the Carnivore. I both agree and disagree with the statement that this album is much more slamming than Unleash the Carnivore because it all depends on how you look at it and from what perspective you’re listening to the music in. If you focus on the pitch levels, there are a lot more high-pitched tones on everything in Butcher than in Carnivore (which has next to none at all). As well as that, the drums sound VERY mushy in Unleash the Carnivore, which makes the music sound smoother and less bombarding (unless you turn the volume up). Just by saying that, I’m assuming that you can guess that Butcher is the opposite; the cymbals are more in the background and the china cymbals don’t dominate EVERYTHING.

 The random quotes/recordings that a lot of these brutal death bands seem to put in some of their songs (primarily at the beginning) can be REALLY interesting and memorable. Probably one of my favorites is from the title track of this album where this guy says “the dead won’t bother you; it’s the living you have to worry about.” As weird as that may seem, I’ve rarely heard so much truth in a quote like that. Right after he says that quote, you are met with an explosive bombardment of slamming brutality similar (but less extreme) to that of the opening track on Unleash the Carnivore. I’m going to be honest and say that I like the vocals on Unleash the Carnivore MUCH better than the ones on this album. The vocals aren’t as deep and are instead more of a pig-squeal styled inhaled growl.

Here’s what I LOVE about this album: THE DRUMMER IS AMAZING! In Molesting the Decapitated, the drumming repeatedly drifted out of tempo and were extremely repetitive. So this right here is evidence of a major improvement in the percussion section. The drummer does slip up a few times with his kick drums, but it’s almost unnoticeable after you add on the technically creative splurs that he has going on with everything else. So you take this, increase the speed, increase the chaos, and increase the bass, and you get the drums on Unleash the Carnivore. The songs on this album aren’t any less repetitive than the ones on Unleash the Carnivore, but the songs differ from each other much more. So at least there’s more uniqueness to each individual song, but there’s still some repetition going on. But in all of Devourment’s albums, the drums are NEVER repetitive; they’re the molten core keeping the music turning.

Devourment is one of the biggest bands in the “slam death” community and has even reached a considerable amount of popularity in the less underground brutal death scene. I discovered these guys after seeing their logo on the shirt of the vocalist for Cerebral Bore. This is a VERY strong release and has enough slamming brutality to flatten K2. I wouldn’t recommend this to people that aren’t very particular to the REALLY brutal death stuff, but if you think you can handle the brutality, feel free to listen to it because it’s good! I would give Butcher the Weak 17/20.