DAEVA “Through Sheer Will And Black Magic…”

By Lord Randall

As much slavish devotion to epic doom as I have, the last CRYPT SERMON really fell flat on my ears, so the news that 3/5 of that band was releasing a black/thrash album as DAEVA with a different vocalist at least perked up this ol’ doomhound’s ears. This could be stellar or abysmally bad, and with the PR sheet mentioning BATHORY, VOIVOD and DARK ANGEL…well, you see what I mean.

When your album’s just a goat’s hair over 30 minutes spending 2 of them in an intro is from the start an issue, never mind that “Intro (Emanations)” doesn’t give me that sense of dark anticipation – that impending dread one wants with such. “The Architect And The Monument” has a lot it its favor, scattershot rhythms, and I’m seeing the influence of the above mentioned already, which is encouraging. I wasn’t on board with Sagarnaga’s drum work until I realized how bastardly hard it must be to follow what’s happening around him and realized by “Arena At Dis” that he’s not only holding his own but every bit as part of the (un)controlled chaos unfolding within my earholes.

The DARKTHRONE shadow loometh heavy and high over “Arena At Dis”, specifically Fenriz’ tracks, waving the flag of the old and cold proudly, belligerently…and gloriously. “Loosen The Tongue Of The Dead” is a guitarist’s wet dream if they grew up with “Leave Scars” and VULCANO’s “Anthropophagy” in constant rotation, both precise and unhinged in equal measure somehow, and the better for it. And here’s one better – memorable!

Vocally Edward Gonet’s got snarls for days, biting but not in a smarmy Mustaine-ian way. Bro wants to eat your face off, and it shows, especially in the obliteration that is “Itch Of The Bottle”, bassist Frank Chin (if you’re listening for the bass) rocking and rolling along with a vehement sense of groove and the elusive pocket.

Shit fire, man, “Through Sheer Will And Black Magic…” is nothing I expected but everything I wanted on this crisp Fall day. Be spinning this one again later this evening. And that, boyos and babes is the mark of a good album.