Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Deviser - Running Sore (2002)

Transmission to Chaos had built my expectations significantly for Deviser's ultimate ascension to the Hellenic elite, but its successor Running Sore just as quickly deflated that longing. The band have an arduous time here producing anything that remains in the noggin, and though the individual aesthetics are not necessarily a deviation from the sophomore, the decision to engage in a more vicious and driven strain of black metal does not ultimately succeed. Early on in the track list, it almost felt that the band had returned to the sheer black/thrash roots that they had developed on The Revelation of Higher Mysteries EP, but gradually the synthesizers return in full force and it takes on a more atmospheric bent like its predecessor, only not quite so potent or dynamic.

It really doesn't start off on a strong note, with "Signals from Another World" serving only as a straight thrust of Slayer-inspired black/death metal with coy, repressed rasping and timid flutters of synthesizer deep in its bowels, but "I Am in Awe" transforms back to the symphonic, exotic poise of Transmission to Chaos. I rather dug the escalating, if cheesy keyboards in this one, but the riffs they smother are rather bare boned. "Liber Animus" feels much the same, a construct of flighty, shining flutes and mechanical choirs over some average riffing, which is this time more of a melodic death metal piece. Ditto for "Bemused Minds" and its descending doom motif; ;"From the Starry Voids" and its baleful gallop; or "She Who is to Come", another chugged Gothic/doom tract. The remainder of the record follows in the mold of "Signals...", with scathing but forgettable fast riffing that succeeds as nothing more than a contrast to the more accessible, creeping fare.

The mix is solid enough, though the keys are clearly too bold in places and it creates a striking separation, as if they were trying to 'escape' the dull morass of guitar notation beneath. Hnaras had not lost his aptitude here, but both the snarls and guitars leave much to desire, as if the well of quality had dried up somewhere in the four intermittent years between the sophomore and this. That slump would be nothing, however, compared to the next, with Running Sore providing the last new Deviser material for nearly a decade (outside of a pair of unreleased tunes on Thy Blackest Love (The Early Years) compilation). Since the record feels like the band was clearly running out of steam, and unable to break through to the international market that several of their countrymen (Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh), I can't really blame them for taking some time off to recharge the creative batteries, but Running Sore, while not bad, is not an album I ever look forward to listening through.

Verdict: Indifference [6.25/10] (where the shadows lie thick)


No comments: