Devastation never played some of the greatest thrash around. In fact their older records were pretty much average but this album totally changed the way looked on them. It's 1991, when thrash bands were not as good as they were in the 80's-however along with a few other bands Devastation absolutely took their thrash to a new level. It's like they took advantage of the weakening scene, added some death metal elements to get the riffs going and created this monstrous album. With better musicianship, songwriting and notably more technicalty, Idolatry will leave you dazzled while punching a hole in your stomach. Texas had some great bands like Rigor Mortis, Gammacide and Torture even but whenever you visit the states again, remember this album-one of the finest Texas had to offer.
The songs are usually six or five minutes long and that increases the number of riffs which makes the album a total rifffest. An arsenal of pounding riffs and infinite blows of might and brutality. The recording supports the whole album so well. Produced by Scott Burns so that it has this thick and bulky production. But unlike other albums of the time which were recorded by SB(Tortured Existence) the production isn't ridiculously heavy and it has a clear sound so you can hear all the instruments play at the same time without having problems hearing one over the other. The aggression and heaviness of the album is absoltely mindblowing, the thundering riffs along with the vocals wihich I will later get on, with constant blast beats and double bass drumming makes the album remarkable. The riffs are also very catchy and technical and sometimes take a melodic approach which just makes the album better. Over the low, slightly guttural vocals, the riffs fit very well and that was one of the huge factors that helped me love this album.
Let's talk technicalty and musicianship, which by the way is highly present on this album. The guitarists always put melodic notes in their riffs to make it interesting and not just simple, but crushing riffs. The drums while may seem somewhat simple, are actually very well-played. The drummer has incedibly high endurance and stamina and can a stampeding beat going on from start to finish, over six minutes. Constant blast beats add aggressiveness while the bashing bass drums add some sort of continues feel to the riffs, making them last pretty damn long. The endurance that the guitarists and drummer have of this album is absoltely perplexing and is yet another factor that helps separate this album from many other albums, because the speed never slows down, or atleast it doesen't slow down that much, keeping the songs full of energy at all times.
The vocals are actually pretty different from any stereotypical death/thrash bands of the time. In fact in the vocals department, Devastation kept themselves more true to their old school ways, since the vocals sound much more thrash than death. They are slightly guttural, although still pretty clear and the vocalist doesen't scream or shout the lyrics out. Instead, he keeps calm and goes low. Another thing that I noticed about the vocals is that they are quite melancholic during most of the album, aswel as showing feelings of great anger and hate towards things in a calm way. This ''melancholic'' feel actually gives the album a dark and miserable edge, so that that all positive thoughts are erased. Vocals fit the riffs and solos well, as they are also usually played in minor notes.
All in all, Devastation released a truely angry and heavy album, and still keeping their relations good with their old thrash buddies, and added just the perfect amount of death influence. With better musicianship, songwriting, tasty riffs, furious drumming and farily original vocal work Devastation made a name for themselves in the metal underground. Anyone who has STILL not tasted the fury of Idolatry must taste it, and taste it soon.
A great gem, hidden in Texas...
Deliver The Suffering