Greek black metal destroyers Deviser finally rampage back with blazing ‘Evil Summons Evil’

It might seem super obvious, but 12 years is a long time. Two thirds of my animals were not alive 12 years ago. I was two jobs way from where I am now in that time span. The United States was not in the state of political farce and societal insanity it is now, and we could not even imagine that level of insanity 12 years ago. That’s a much longer span than I ever realized.

It’s been about 12 years since we got a new record from Hellenic black metal force Deviser, but that drought is over with the arrival of “Evil Summons Evil,” their devastating new record. This new 10-track effort is black metal served in a way a lot of bands miss in this era. Speed is not a required element. In fact, most of this treads water in the best way possible, and the heaviness and power is what’s key. The band—vocalist/guitarist Matt Hnaras, bassist/keyboardist Nick Christogiannis, guitarist Vagellis Kastanas—turns on the furnace and sweats you out over this life of this thing. And despite the lack of fuel pedal fetishizing, it’s a massive power that is relentless and energizing, demanding your attention.

“Death Is Life Eternal” stomps its way in with guitars catching fire and the shrieks ripping, letting the torch light slowly illuminate the madness. Synth spreads as a sense of regality emerges, spilling into lush keys and off into the distance. “Cold Comes the Night” is jarring with the guitars muscling and vicious howls stinging in rage. Calculated power mixes with orchestral waves before things tear apart again, gutting with surging riffs and mangling horrors. “Absence of Heaven” lets riffs envelope and the vocals overpower, sweeping through as the sentiment gets morose, melting with channeled savagery. The eruption quakes the earth, guitars sweep through, and synth swells, your veins pushed to pump blood more forcefully. “Tenebrae” is a brief instrumental interlude with synth clouds landing and mystical drama unfolding, moving its way to “Of Magick” that trudges as Androniki Skoula of Chaostar lends her beaming soprano pipes and adds beauty to terror. The shrieks rip and give the bloodier edge, the playing sparks, and things drive with menace into plodding intensity with Skoula pulling you into hypnosis with her siren call.

“Evoking the Moon Goddess” chugs as the shrieks chew at muscle, drama increasing as the pace levels up in excitement. The vocals explode as fierce hell is unleashed, synth sweeps, and powerful leads slice through to the bone. “Where Angels Fear to Tread” begins with acoustics and a haunting dialog, guitars soaring and crushing, shrieks destroying. Melodies rampage as the playing fully engulfs, taking you along with it. “Sky Burial” is rushing and harsh, scorching every step of the way, the humidity getting thicker as it lasts. The playing plasters and grinds your flesh, throaty howls land hard, and vicious power drags you back into the unknown. “Serpent God” churns as eerie synth unwinds, shrieks rip hard, and the playing envelopes, scraping at congealing wounds. Vicious howls punish as the atmosphere increases, blowing down the doors and ushering in closer “When the Lights Went Out.” The guitars are heated and harsh, the shrieks pierce your ears, and the force becomes insurmountable, dragging you under with it. Energetic pulses increase, the leads take off, and a melodic explosion ends in lush acoustics.

“Evil Summons Evil” might have taken us almost a decade and a half to get into our hands since the last Deviser record, and in that time away, they’ve managed to get hungrier and meaner. There are faster, nastier bands on the planet, but what Deviser do so well is keep you in a battering groove, slowly eating away at you and making the punishment feel that much bloodier. This is a much welcomed return for this band and a record that reminds what these vets are capable of committing.  

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