With it being one of the most popular forms of death metal in this day and age, there really should be more attention given to the very bottom of the seething underground from which countless tech-death acts are constantly crawling forth from. Otherwise, we’re sure to miss out on some truly exceptional acts that would suffer a fate of not being known that they are simply not worthy of. As I stumbled upon Devils Reef, it truly hurt my soul to see nary a mention of this act anywhere and not a single purchase of their debut on Bandcamp. But, it is with their freshly upcoming effort that I really do believe things are about to ramp up intensely for this small and voracious band.
Lovecraft is far from an uncommon influence over metal, but there are few styles like technical death metal that might be able to bring to life the tentacle-wreathed, shapeless forms, and sheer madness of that universe the likes of which everything Lovecraftian has become known for. It’s within the confines of “Chosen by the Sea” that we find everything necessary to achieve that greatness and even a little bit more with a present water-theme that isn’t afraid to back off for some variety to help make things particularly tasty in these dominating seven tracks. There isn’t a single moment in any of them which Devils Reef could find themselves squandering our time or their’s as it’s all done so masterfully that I’d be shocked and appalled to find any fan of the style that could hold off the dark assault of “Chosen by the Sea” as it comes dangerously equipped with fiery riffs, vocals that could boil the seas away in an instant, drums that crack open the very cosmos to let ceaseless horrors pour out, great love and understanding for the style to pull it off masterfully on just the band’s second effort, a very well-implemented and heavy influence from the world of thrash to somehow make this 35-minute onslaught even more tantalizing, and many more choice weapons all of which are equally serrated to rend flesh and soul. To lose yourself in what Devils Reef has crafted here is to lose yourself in the very excellence that has made technical death metal the unwavering beast that it is today. “Chosen by the Sea” virtually has it all. I could not tear myself from this work after several hours of the pure aural assault on my consciousness being more than welcome as it’s all fascinating right from the very beginning and Devils Reef does a more than a perfect job at making every moment after that something that you should not forget.
In every single way, Devils Reef exceeded all the expectations that I had with this effort in the very first track with everything else that follows it being no less than monolithic in its menacing aggressive and tantalizing quality that is spread across every single fucking second that these guys use to do no less than absolutely dominate. “Chosen by the Sea” is something that must not find itself lost to the depths of the scene to suffer the cruel fate of being forgotten, for if these guys get the proper attention then I know for a fact that Devils Reef will rise extremely quickly to become the next tech-death band to have a devoted cult following.
“Chosen by the Sea” releases on January 15th!
LISTEN to Devils Reef’s debut album, “The Way of the Moon”, on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Devils Reef on Facebook here.