Devils_tail Desolation

Devils Tail - Desolation


This record was kind of a surprise to me – because I was listening to it over the speakers while working on a few other things and it seemed to be nothing but another black metal record. Then I put on my headphones and was really surprised – because now it seemed like a whole other album. So take my advice – give Desolation a spin but listen to it with some good headphones. There are a few things hidden in there!

The Swedish duo, releasing via Dutch label Non Serviam Records, has unleashed quite a classic black metal record with lots of blastbeats accompanied by some swirling guitar work. However, never underestimate the of some well-done play on tempi and sounds. When ”Creeping Terror”, the third track, falls into a short breathing break the tonality of the guitar seems to imitate a male choir, without wanting it. Miraculously, this short break provides the song with that finesse that is necessary to keep me wanting for more.

This play with tempi, breaks and different tunings continues throughout the rest of the record. Just compare the next track, ”At the Crossroads”: starting off rather punkishly the turn comes not unexpected and is pretty short but they continue the good arpeggio-work into the next section and the vocals here are somewhat gloomier than before so that the blastbeat attack is not as dominant as one might expect.

This might be the duo’s debut, but we surely do not talk about inexperienced guys, they surely know how to convey what they want to be conveyed. And that establishing of mood is so well-done that the ending of ”At the Crossroads” seems like the intro to the next track ”I Am the Wolf” which is one of the slower tracks on the record but a stomping mid-tempo beat and a lot of good, tight guitar-lines on top of it. Jimmy’s vocals give Erik’s instrumentals a classic touch and deliver what is expected from a good black metal singer – convincing shrieks, some poisonous growls and no unnecessary clean vocals.

The band from Sweden is also able to give us some real punk-vibes as obvious with the opening of ”Master of Salvation”, when they play with our expectation and change the pace quite a few times but without trying to show off, but for the sake of the song.

The seven songs on Desolation deliver in 40 minutes what a good black metal album should do – follow some classic ideas and yet also add some freshness to the genre. They add something in the little things, not the bigger mechanics but for example by combining some cymbal drumming on top of a guitar-rolldown in the middle of ”Master of Salvation”. A record that genre-fans should listen to for sure. And some more should do so too! But wear headphones!