Review: Devilpriest “In Repugnant Adoration” [Odium Records]

Review: Devilpriest “In Repugnant Adoration” [Odium Records]

- in Reviews

At the end of 2022, the Polish death/black metal band Devilpriest released their sophomore studio album In Repugnant Adoration in collaboration with the local label Odium Records (now based in London). There was a significant pause from them; for a whole five years nothing was heard from the Devilpriest camp. The band decided to continue their flirtations with Satanism, cloaking it in a ritualistic conceptual canvas akin to a meditative state. So be cautious, if you adhere closely to Devilpriest’s instructions, don’t forget to check for demons before going to sleep.

Devilpriest is a four-piece band of experienced musicians who for many years have been terrorizing the local extreme scene through numerous projects, so this ritualistic creation clearly demonstrates their professionalism. Musically, their sound leans more towards death metal, but the intellectual and spiritual side confidently leads into the occult depths of black metal. Nowadays, a skillful combination of black and death metal doesn’t surprise anyone; Devilpriest are not proponents of experimental moves and original solutions, preferring to focus on the good old traditions. But despite the fact that by all stylistic standards this music is considered as classic, it’s hard to label this band as old school. In a remarkable manner, these Polish blasphemers fit into the modern world with their secret rites, raw sound, and demonic cruelty.

The level of occult ceremonialism on this release is practically exemplary in its Kabbalistic nature, also aspiring towards enlightenment, but through the form of dark rituals and sacrifices. This music isn’t bound by the icy depths of hellish sang-froid; it blazes with the fire of rage, thirst for knowledge, and pure worship of demons. It’s not so easy to convey the sacred meaning hidden in the depths through bare primitivism and a classical approach. Unraveling layer by layer of this musical voyage, you come into contact with it until you’re engulfed by a wall of guitar noise and infernal screams in the background. Imitating favorite bands is quite easy when everything has been said hundreds and hundreds of times through; showing how well you play and understand the genre is also not so difficult. But to convey through your raw and instinctive music your own path to exaltation, that already points to those hidden layers beneath the music’s exterior façade.

The album begins a bit chaotically with the song “Adoration / Shem-ham-forash,” emphasizing dissonant vibes, spewing distortion, and sowing violence. Aggression is the most important component on this album; even through the very slowdowns – hidden anger and bloodlust break through. “The Eye of Seth” teases with slight major notes and hints of melodic death metal, but doesn’t really offer a sense of optimism. “Walpurgis” also stands out with its melodiousness amidst the dissonant buzzing, but the speedy blast beats and piercing riffs prevent immersion into a sentimental flair of enlightenment. The album varies in pace – from the frenetic thrash/death composition “The Black Milk of Lilith” to the mid-tempo “Ritual Command”. In Repugnant Adoration ends with a cover song “Flowing Downwards” by the cult Finnish black metal band Black Crucifixion, helping to break out of demonic stupor and returning back into the world of buzzing chords and sepulchral screams. But all of this is covered with a dense veil of necromancy, offering the listener a choice – either simply headbanging to yet another black/death metal album or delve into the darkest depths of the mystical journey.

At first glance, the artwork looks very typical for the era of metal zines and genuine music journalism, but according to the musicians it serves as a gateway to your inner fears and clandestine desires. In Repugnant Adoration doesn’t spark with originality; it could be regarded almost conservative by extreme metal standards. But if you’re ready to remove the mask of traditionalism, you can already observe this showy simplicity with a slightly wiser eye. So, isn’t it time to unleash the demons?

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