Devius - _The Absents Presence_
(Depressive Illusions Records, 2014)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7.5 out of 10)
Argentina's forward thinking death metal horde Devius have finally put together a full-length release after teasing genre enthusiasts with two promising EPs in previous years. The band's full-length debut comes under the name _The Absents Presence_ and boasts forty seven minutes of some rather unusual death metal -- which is almost always a good thing. So having put out a full-length, the fellows in Devius have allowed their influences to show through their work in parallel with their own unique touch. On some occasions, the influence radar will point to Suffocation and on other occasions towards Cynic. One thing that does ascertain that this is a band with a continuously improving palette is the successful integration of the sitar in various tracks on this record.

The sitar makes its first appearance at the end of "The Logic of a Dying Man", where it surprisingly finishes off a rather vicious number in the last few seconds. More sitar action takes place on "Immaterial", where it actually complements the distorted sections in a few moments of clever integration; of course the apeshit-crazy drumming in the last minute doesn't hurt either. Staying with authenticity as an attractive quality on this album, one cannot deny the slight hint of Latin music coming through the clean guitars on "And the White Horses..." or the inventive use of vocal effects on the opening piece "Winter Murdered the Vagabond". It's an idea that will automatically confirm the Cynic influence, yet Devius don't go full-on Masvidal worship and they actually make it sound unique, which pairs quite marvelously with the growls shelled out with it.

All these aforementioned elements, which may be unusual in a death metal environment, are surrounded by some very standard pieces like the tumultuous "The Lepers Gift", with its multiple transitions, or the downright vicious "Lowest Common Denominator". The cracking bass in the background, machine gun blasts and deep growls on "Buried in the Sun" are instantly reminiscent of Suffocation. However, the auditory violence disappears and makes way for an elegant, clean jazzy segment which slowly descends into a violently psychotic last minute. Ups and downs like that are what make _The Absents Presence_ an enjoyable album, yet not an instantly accessible one. It does need a few spins to start growing, but when it does, it does so with confidence like the fine debut that it is.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/DeviusDeathMetal

(article published 6/5/2014)


ALBUMS
12/8/2011 A El Naby 6.5 Devius - Orphion
6/13/2010 A El Naby 6 Devius - Infinity Echoes
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