There are times when it is advisable to take a step back, to re-assess your opinions, and question whether first impressions will last beyond those initial moments. It’s with this in mind that I approached “Curse of Flesh,” the first full-length album from Ukrainian black metal band Devildom. The quintet have built up a considerable buzz in certain pockets of the underground for their atmospheric black metal. Having spent some time with the record, it has proven itself to be one of those rare creations that grows stronger with repeat listens, to the extent that there is a strong argument to be made that it is one of the best black metal releases of 2018 so far; and furthermore, that Devildom are one of the most vital and exciting bands currently operating within black metal’s broad church.
Whilst “Curse of Flesh” can be described as some extent to drawing from atmospheric black metal, with the forest-dwelling spirit of Emperor‘s earlier works being a key reference, it is a far angrier, more direct record than that sub-genre might imply. The album is full of righteous rage, but this only tells part of the tale, and at no point do Devildom really sound like anyone else; in a genre that is often weighed down by hordes of corpse-painted clones, the band have managed to create a unique sound.
The majority of “Curse of Flesh” is deceptively simple. Whilst they may have created a unique sound, they have done so without forgetting the importance of quality songwriting, and of performing your songs with the passion they deserve. It is clear that every note and lyric on this album is absolutely meant, pondered over and fully considered before being put to tape.
“Curse of Flesh” is probably one of the most important black metal records of in the recent years. It is blazing a fearless path, musically distinct and unafraid to say things that will upset some in the underground.
Stream the album on Bandcamp.