The Devolved – No Reprieve
Release date: 26th July 2017
Label: Self Released
Formed late in 2016 The Devolved are a four piece located in Cardiff who are proudly flying the flag for no nonsense metal, shot through with a healthy dose of thrash influences. The band are comprised of former members from a number of of metal acts in the Wales area. No Reprieve is their self released debut 6 track EP.
The EP starts with eponymous number No Reprieve. This wastes no time in showcasing the bands capabilities. A big heavy riff is accompanied by a build up of vocals, which have echoes of the delivery of James Hetfield. Around 2:50 there is a breakdown which leads into a more melodic interlude before the thunderous guitar drops back in to bring the track to its conclusion. Not a bad start at all.
Second track Tattered Life continues with the fairly fast pace in it’s opener before leading into a riff with the slightest tinge of Iron Maiden to it’s ascending structure. Midway through the song the whole band cut out for about five seconds while an understated guitar riff holds forth. Then there comes a slower build up with soaring guitars which gives way to the slightest hinge of grungey influence before the track returns to the starting pace to round things off.
So Suffer Me gets things going with mellow guitar accompanied by a classic rock style guitar line before thumping drums and an urgent vocal part ramp up the energy. The song then settles into a galloping rhythm which alternates with slightly slower riffs reminiscent of Hallow’s Eve before ending in a crescendo of double kicks and power riffs.
Fourth track The Flame Beckons opens with a definite Pantera style riff and the vocals fit in well around this midtempo number. Again the song is brought off well and the guitar parts are strong, however the song feels a touch as is if it is jumping between differing styles of metal without settling conclusively on the desired sound.
Flaws of the Obsessive is a much slower and introverted affair and constitutes a departure from the preceding tracks. The more muted delivery works pretty well given the subject matter of obsession and each instrument comes into it’s own when given a little more space. Later in the track the vocal is pretty much a whisper and the song sounds as if it as about to tail off before picking up speed and ending on a solo.
Final track When Words Fail sees the band return to a more forceful metal delivery. The riffs remain consistently strong throughout and the time signature changes which are largely instrumental do well. There is also a good groove to the drum part around 2:30 which sits really well amongst the guitar parts. The vocals are syncopated effectively with the surrounding instrumentation and the EP concludes on a high note.
This is a strong first EP from a band who clearly know how to deliver a great metal sound. They wear their influences on their sleeve but do for the most part manage to bring their own slant to their approach. At times it did feel that whilst everything is technically well executed, the EP jumped around a bit, but that is a minor gripe for what is an otherwise decent effort.
Recommended Track: When Words Fail