Devourment - Conceived In Sewage digi-CD


Fast forward to 2013 and Devourment is releasing the Erik Rutan-produced Conceived in Sewage through Relapse Records. The classic Devourment sound that has won over fans worldwide and has inspired hordes of copycat bands is all but gone on Conceived in Sewage. This album is sure to be divisive for the Devourment fan base.

The certain "something" that I always felt was missing from the Devourment sound has finally entered the mix on Conceived in Sewage. The band is no longer a one dimensional slam machine. In fact, this album isn't even recognizable as "Devourment". However, even though I like the band's older material, this change in style is actually a good thing. Overall, the songs are way more memorable and distinctive. Influences ranging from classic old school to early brutal death metal bands are now mixed in with Devourment's "slamming" sound. The album may lack some of the intensity of Devourment's older works, but Conceived in Sewage more than makes up for it through its variety and strong songs.

In order to achieve these changes, each member of Devourment has really stepped up and shown what he is capable of within the band. The guitars no longer rely so heavily on simple palm-muted chugging. Dissonance and cool chord voicings are thrown into the mix liberally and give the songs added variety. Occasionally, dark riffs similar to those used by Cannibal Corpse make appearances, and there's even a moment in "Carved in Ecstasy" that brings Obituary to mind. There are still plenty of big dumb grooves that fans want from Devourment, but these new touches help offset the simple parts and keep things interesting.

The vocals are also much more varied than in the past. Majewski is still guttural, but he has added more styles to his repertoire. The gutturals have an awesome texture and can even be understood easily in certain places. "Legalize Homicide", "Today We Die", "Tomorrow We Kill", and "Parasitic Eruption" all have vocal parts that are so catchy one wants to "sing along". That's not really something one could say too often about this band. Another one of the best aspects of the album is the insane drumming. It's not necessarily the most mind-blowing playing, but it's very tasteful and adds just the right amount of extra awesomeness to songs like "Heaving Acid", "Parasitic Eruption", and the title track. Unfortunately, the bass doesn't stand out too much other than some ear-punching notes in "Heaving Acid". For the most part, it serves its purpose by laying down a thick bottom end, but generally goes by unnoticed.

While Devourment is certainly not going to be mistaken for a technical band, the utilization of variety and the unleashing of individual talent on Conceived in Sewage has made Devourment a band that I can listen to at any time and not only when I am in the mood for something caveman-ish. This feels like the release that Devourment has been working toward for years. Some old fans are going to be hugely disappointed; there's sure to be some backlash. The move to Relapse and the Rutan production may seem like a sellout of sorts to some ultra-underground types, but those people should really give the album a chance to grow on them. Devourment has gambled big on Conceived in Sewage and it has certainly paid off.