Black Metal might just be the most overdone of all metal subgenres and if not executed with the intent to make it dangerous and vile, tends to become boring and simplistic. Solar Deity released three CDs in a single year, all of them being EPs. Each had a different style of black metal. In The Name of Satan had a really strong Burzum and Mayhem influence. Devil Worship is the fourth offering by Mumbai black metal suit Solar Deity (of which we were fortunate enough to be given a review copy.) The current lineup utilizes Aditya Mehta on vocals and guitar and Animesh Das on bass.
Devil Worship is a 3-track EP spanning just a little over 25 minutes. The length is by no means an indication of the quality – it still packs a punch. Every track is brutal and heavy but that’s only what you understand on the first listen. Devil Worship has a lot going on right from the layers of atmospheric metal elements to plain drumming carnage.
The opening track Raise The Horns has a very normal intro. We’ve heard stuff of that sort before but then you hear the guitar picking up and the culmination of that build-up is intense. The track immediately reminds you of Mayhem’s Chimera (though the production on Chimera was more crisp). The vocals are slightly passive, almost clean but that is not to say that the overall sound isn’t extremely raw. The lyrical flow is brilliantly interjected, a couple of listens would get you deep into what Solar Deity are doing. The outro on Raise The Thorns is simply delectable and I found myself listening to the song over and over in anticipation of those final 35 seconds. Supreme Evil has Morbid Angel written all over it and is proper headbanging material. The guitar tone is smoky and one that I want to be able to identify SD with – definitely different from the tone on In The Name of Satan.
The bass however seems low on all 3 tracks, I definitely had to strain quite a bit to hear it. It was a weak area even on In The Name of Satan, seeming quite out of the mix. Through The Hallways of Narak carries a grating texture both in riffs and vocals. The track is explosive, littered with bludgeoning riffs that are just plain mean. The progressions are murky and the drum parts carry a certain nastiness. At this point you just know Solar Deity have done some of their darkest work on Devil Worship. One thing I definitely love is how Through The Hallways of Narak periodically moves from aggressive to brooding, it’s a black metal essential. Loads of heavy and infectious riffs are packed into each track.
Devil Worship is definitely a great piece of work. At no point in its 25 minute run does it seem mechanical or half-assed and for black metal records these days, let alone black metal acts in India, it’s a hard thing to pull off. For people new to the band, I feel Devil Worship is a solid entry point. Kudos to Aakash Dwivedi for the impressive artwork.
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