Something evil, something sinister and haunting has been lurking among the shadows of Spain, and now five years after their debut full length the shadow dwellers Devotion emerge once more to present us with their sophomore full length titled The Harrowing. Hidden for years until their debut Necrophiliac Cults appeared and ravaged the death metal lands, Devotion disappeared only to emerge in 2021 to decimate, haunt and spread despair across the land once more. Appropriately titled, The Harrowing features thirteen total tracks of pure, unfiltered grim death metal. Devotion does not belong to any sort of old-school or new age category, nor do they abide by any trend as they have crafted their own devilish sound. What you get throughout The Harrowing is thirteen dirges of death that are all consuming and soul devouring.
The Harrowing really is a record that consumes you. It wraps you up in a haunting and dismal fog from the get go never to let you see the light of day again until the final note has been played. As heavy and grim as this release is, it is equally as enchanting, mesmerizing and memorable. Devotion has done a great job here crafting each song to be as captivating as they are, wrapping you up in their overall haunting and mesmerizing atmosphere. Each track does a great job of drawing you in further and further until you can no longer escape. Sprinkled into the record are short and chilling interludes that add to the labyrinth of sound that Devotion emits that ultimately captivates and captures you even more.
Striking above the atmosphere is the pure deadly death metal assault that Devotion ladles upon you. Within each track you are treated to bone rattling drum work, riffs that carve you until you’re hollow, bass work that is brain jarring and vocals that are as sinister and demonic as you could imagine. The instrumentation all throughout is superb, never will you come across a track where Devotion is lacking in any shape or form. Each track is as deadly as the last, cutting through your flesh straight to your bone bleeding you veins and drying your marrow. The potency of The Harrowing is undeniable.
This is a masterfully crafted effort that is cohesive and very well rounded. Of all the different elements that Devotion uses, they all fit perfectly together to create an overall marvelous sound. Devotion hits on every single note throughout The Harrowing whether it be the atmosphere, the down right pure death metal savagery or the incredible production. Nothing is out of place here as this release is as close to perfect as you could get. The Harrowing is an undeniable tour de force, one that provides you with just about anything and everything that you could ask for in a death metal record.
You cannot get much better than this. We don’t give out rankings here on Cadaver Garden, but for this release we will. It’s a 10/10, period, and so far this is my favorite record of 2021. The Harrowing has everything going for it and so does Devotion. This is just a straight up fantastic record through and through. Devotion deserves all of the praise that they will get and then some.
The Harrowing will be released January 25 through Memento Mori.
Check out the track God Forlorn below!
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