Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Devil Master - Manifestations

Devil Master is a band that I have been meaning to document properly here for a while now. These Philadelphia freaks came from the gutter in 2016 and have since then managed to record a pair of demos. It is these demos that have been compiled, remixed and remastered by Relapse Records on Manifestations in preparation for the release of their upcoming full length in 2019. Eerie and grim, manifestations is a wonderful mix of death rock with punky black metal that represents everything their city stands for.

The weird mixture of almost Darkthrone-esque vibes with a more Christian Death inspired backdrop is interesting to me. There are moments of jangly weirdness counterbalanced by pure black metal majesty. Through it all though there is a wonderful undercurrent of true Philthadelphia scum punk that reminds us just where the band come from. Never straying too far from their roots, Devil Master instead focus on the powerful and transcendental, swooping to new heights and embracing bizarro realities. This articulate, demonic and thrilling sound is the sort of thing that I can't help but to love simply because it's so out there and the combination of sounds really speaks to the zeitgeist.

It wouldn't surprise me if I found out that Devil Master was comprised of freaked out punk kids from Mars. Their sound is all over the place but gleefully so. It fuses disparate elements but does it in a way that makes sense and has a sense of grace. The Iron Maiden inspired Sex with Succubus seems to counterbalance crust punk histrionics and the groups black metal flair seems distinctly touched by a scene that is inextricably linked to Philadelphia's many colleges. This is a unique listen to be sure and one you will be coming back too in preparation for the mastery to come.

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