Devoid was easily one of my favourite Indian extreme metal acts back when I first started trying to discover Indian metal bands. A God’s Lie was a stellar release, fusing speed and melody into one hell of a frenzy headbanging journey, leaving me thirsty for more. Unfortunately, the preview released a couple of months back by the band for their new material proved somewhat underwhelming and disappointing after the strong debut release. This year sees the Devoid returning proper with their new concept EP, The Invasion.
The Invasion quickly proves itself to be astonishingly good, dispelling all prior bad taste that the prior preview left in my mouth. Opening track Prelude quickly sets down the haunting mood for The Invasion to set forth on planet Earth, with the acoustic guitars and percussions at the background even bringing in some rather unique flavour to Devoid‘s brand of extreme music. As one would soon come to realise as well, the ethnic flavour that the band has included on this release is much evident compared to A God’s Lie, one of the notable aspects of The Invasion.
And as the album begins proper with the title track, the speed and infectious intensity that the band has come to be known for after A God’s Lie is instantly recognisable, what with the percussive style of guitar playing by Sanju and Arun, though things seem to sound slightly different this time. The riffs are much more brutal and in your face, and Arun’s vocals are relentlessly tortured, with the layering between his usual barking style and a harsher, deep death growl causing even greater impact. Fans of A God’s Lie need not fear though for the melodic sensibilities of the band are still heavily present on the album, especially on the numerous lead guitars and the solos that are littered throughout the album, displaying not only their technical abilities on the guitars, but also their versatility in playing.
The continuous growth and maturation in Devoid‘s songwriting is also extremely apparent on The Invasion. Unlike the full-on speed fest that was on A God’s Lie, the band doesn’t shy away from making use of slower passages to help to emphasise the mood and emotion in the music. Furthermore, unlike the previous release where themes were seemingly random, The Invasion sees the band focus the EP on one single concept – the invasion of aliens on Earth and humankind. Certainly an interesting release for the sci-fi buff.
However, one thing that constantly bugged me throughout The Invasion was the production quality, which was much rawer and under-polished compared to what was on A God’s Lie. While it could very well have been every intention of Devoid to make this release as brutal as possible, it certainly took a while to get used to, though the tone of the drums were particularly irritating, at times sounding so synthetic that it could very well have been programmed, and this is possibly the weakest link on the album.
That said though, the musicality that is on The Invasion could easily make one overlook the production, and very well please those that like their music raw and filthy. With this release, Devoid has definitely displayed a tremendous growth as a band, and the hunger has been intensified, rather than appeased…