Artist: Devouring Star
Album: Through Lung and Heart
Label: Daemon Worship Productions
It has been five years since the last Deathspell Omega full-length and we haven’t heard from them since 2012 when they released the EP Drought. Iceland and their black metal scene is blooming like never before with extremely competent bands like Svartidauði, Misþyrming and Sinmara. What do you get if you combine the dissonant riffing and intricate basslines of Deathspell Omega with the atmosphere and feel of Svartidauði? You get Devouring Star, a Finnish four-piece black metal band.
Through Lung and Heart is certainly a fitting title. The dissonant riffs pierces through you from minute one all the way to the end. Utilizing technical drumming and on-point blast beats together with intriguing basslines throughout the entire album makes it an interesting listen from start to finish. The madness that is Through Lung and Heart both starts and finishes with dark ambient, seemingly representing a start and finish. Sanctified Decomposition has a two-minute long ambient intro until the slow and heavy-hitting intro riff starts. The song breaks out in full frontal blast beat assault about four minutes into the song and the obvious Deathspell Omega influence is clear when the six minute mark appear. Slowing down and incorporating really a jarring atmosphere and the rapid changes in tempo has become almost a trademark for the French black metal scene and it’s obvious that Devouring Star has gotten more influence from the French than from their own countrymen. Finland have always been known for playing raw black metal with bands like Satanic Warmaster, Behexen and Horna being some of the frontrunners in this scene, but there is little that resembles this style on Trough Lung and Heart.
Decayed song of Earth is the shortest song on the album and is together with To Traverse The Black Flame the two most underwhelming songs on the album. This is where Devouring Star shows that they still have a way to go in terms of song writing compared to the more experienced bands in the whole dissonant-black metal movement. Consistency is key in creating a good album and managing to stay true to their style while also being consistent throughout an entire album is difficult.
The title track ends the album on a high note by being the most memorable song on the album. Through Lung and Heart is ten minutes of amazing black metal that starts with a dark ambient intro before an incredibly heavy riff fills the soundscape. This type of slow and heavy riff reminds me a lot of the newest The Ruins of Beverast album, Blood Vaults. The songs breaks free about four and a half minutes in and the album reaches its high point in terms of intensity. The blast beats sound incredible together with the guitars and the vocals.
The production is surprisingly clean, considering it’s a debut album by a black metal band. The attention to detail seems to be an important factor for Devouring Star when making music, which is why the production sounds cleaner than most other debutants in the scene. Listening to this album through five-dollar earbuds is certainly not recommended if you want the all-inclusive Devouring Star cruise.
After all is said and done, Through Lung and Heart is absolutely a strong release by a band that we hopefully will hear a lot from in the future. It lays a good foundation for Devouring Star’s career, while also being an album that they most definitely can be proud of making.
Best songs: Sanctified Decomposition, The Dreaming Tombs, Through Lung and Heart
– Jan Jakobsen