Formed in 2005, thrashers Devoid has emerged as one of the most noticeable and notable bands to emerge in recent years in Indian metal through their accomplished and commanding sound and their acclaimed debut album A God’s Lie. The Demonstealer Records released mix of thrash with a healthy shadow of death metal to its breath put the band in a brighter spotlight certainly at home if not quite as potently further afield. Now with the release of their impressive new EP, The Invasion, the Mumbai quartet has unleashed a darker, heavier, and more dramatically intensive declaration which could thrust the band into the widest awareness and recognition. Exploring more of their death metal brutality without diminishing the thrash endeavour and voracity which set the band’s rise in full flight, the release is an absorbing and ferocious encounter with a craft and imagination which intrigues and places Devoid onto a new lofty plateau.
Starting out as a trio consisting of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Arun Iyer, drummer Shubham Kumar, and lead guitarist Keshav Kumar, with bassist Frank Pawar joining the following year, the band first made their mark by winning Campus Rock Idols, a big competition for rock and metal bands back then. Shows and tours with bands such as Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut, Myndsnare, Kryptos, Brute Force, and Infernal Wrath brought the band’s sound and presence into an eager and swiftly growing fanbase. 2010 saw the release of A God’s Lie as well as a tour across cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune with UAE death/thrashers Nervecell. Since then the sharing of stages with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Decapitated, and Sybreed has only cemented and accelerated Devoid’s stature in India and surrounding areas which The Invasion threatens to take to new climates. With line-up changes seeing guitarist Sanju Aguiar replacing Keshav Kumar in 2011 and Abhishek Kamdar coming in for the departing Pawar a year later, Devoid has evolved its sound and intensity into a stronger and darker yet just as contagious creative savagery; a powerful storm to thrill the full global presence of thrash metal.
The release emerges with a provocative and atmosphere instrumental intro, a guitar shaped design filling intimidating and towering epically sculpted walls of sound. The acoustic caress which expands throughout the piece coaxes the imagination to dare a journey through the imposing and epic heights surrounding them, leaving thoughts exposed for the following ferocity which explodes in the shape of the title track. The opening narrative of the concept of the world under an invasive fury is expelled though a rasping vocal malevolence as punishing rhythms aligned to exhaustive riffery and sonic causticity lays welcome siege on the ear. It is a furious and compelling mix, the thrash heart and core of the song irresistible in its brutal consumption of the senses and the malevolent death bred breath of the track an insidious but potently alluring temptation. Opening up its melodic arms with a great solo and reducing the energy of the attack with an equally intensive yet more respectful thickly caressing ambience, the rage dissipates into a closing fade but leaves a lingering menace which is soon taken up by its predecessor.
Pandemonium Is Over goes straight for the throat with even more dangerous and vicious rhythms in league with corrosive riffery whilst the excellent vocal squalls of Iyer are like lightly grained sandpaper and pleasingly abrasive and inciting. As the track impresses and steers a wide awake appetite for the EP into even greedier urges of hunger, it is fair to say that the band is not delving into new unexplored realms but still creates a proposition which is fresh and antagonistically eventful, a predacious chewing of the senses and imagination which stands aside of plenty of other bands uniting the two core essences of the band’s sound.
To this point The Invasion is a tremendous adventure but soon given a new adrenaline shot of contagion and riveting hostility with Brahma Weapon and the hellacious closing track, The Grand Design. The first of the pair is an exhilarating and exhausting blistering of the ears, riffs insatiably hungry and acidic whilst the rhythms of Kumar are so accomplished and malicious in their bone splintering sculpting that they hardly seem to break sweat, something the listener cannot say once drawn into the intensive tempest of addictive enterprise and sonic violence. The best track on the release it is almost matched by the EP closer, a song with a lumbering heavyweight presence and an almost Pantera like vehemence and ferocity to its stalking rabidity, musically and vocally. Crawling over the listener with an intrusive leering breath and potentially lethal sinews, the song never quite unleashes its full vitriolic energy but certainly increases its intensity and hunger allowing its fearsome rancor to soak every second of the outstanding quarrel.
Expanding and exploring their previous more old school trash inventiveness, Devoid has moved into being an unpredictable and imposingly darker force. The Invasion suggests this evolution is still a work in progress making the band’s next proposition easy to highly anticipate whilst the EP declares itself an encounter all thrash metals fans should make.
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