Devilman – Devilman (Small But Hard Recordings)
Dark apocalyptic techno trio Devilman release their debut album, Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham was both unnerved and thrilled by it.
An evil techno machine brain hovering over a city sending out waves of evil. The cover pretty much sums this album up. Nasty, dirty and spreading like a cloud of smog from your speakers. This music is made to unsettle you. To make you glance over your shoulder, to make you feel uneasy. Devilman are signed to Small But Hard and live they are terrifying.
It starts with a madman speaking in tongues, with hard industrial beats over brooding distorted synth lines. Itâs like a slow moving landmass, unstoppable and blocking out the light. The vocals are distracting as the sound layers move around themselves creating a harsh, dark textured sound.
From there you get a track that is marginally more gentle, or should I say less harsh, a slower burning bass burner in âElephant Dubâ. The industrial drum sound comes to the fore in âSeiki Dubâ, which also has throbbing basslines and a highly catchy synth rhythm running through it. âRossâ sounds like an insane organist deep in the ruins of a cathedral in the heart of Hell, a soundtrack to the worst horror film you ever saw. Itâs deeply disturbing and very wrong.
âNoise Stepâ tells you what it is, itâs a static and distorted dubstep killing machine. Itâs minimal, relentless and akin to having someone punch you repeatedly in the head. â93â has the odd distorted voices from the first track and as it settles down from the lunatic introduction it has a steady flowing beat and a gigantic sound, very slow and steady as it rolls over anything in its path. âNirvana Dubâ has more metal drums and a huge distorted guitar sound with half screamed lyrics, all wrapped up in what I can only describe as a metalstep. They give a more restrained sound with a deeper bass on âTunnel Dubâ, which is still very disconcerting to listen to.
âLast Black Emperorâ has low beats like rolls of thunder hidden deep in the mix, a single synth note distorted like feedback and long stretches of static and distortion. It sounds like the noise experimentation of KK Null and Merzbow. This isnât music, it’s sound made to make you disconnect and just feel.
This album is a triumph. Itâs like a homing missile to the head, a noise like no other I have heard so far this year. It is worth your time and effort. Buy it.
All words and image by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.