Published on Sunday, 13 July 2014 12:27
Album title: Revenge Of The Antichrist
Release date: 25 August 2014
Label: Meth Media/Dark Dimensions
01. Rising a) Unholy b) Siddhartha Gautama
04. Scrabbled Angel
06. From Birth To Death
07. Good Way Of Dying
08. Revenge Of The Antichrist Pt. 1
09. Revenge Of The Antichrist Pt. 2
10. Love Is Not Available
11. Garden Of Eden
12. I Am God
13. Harmful Scab
14. Apokrypha (Centhron Remix)
15. Siddhartha Gautama (Blackest Light Remix)
16. Rebirth (Grausame Töchter Remix)
Germans are attacking again with some hard industrial beats, this time in the form of a quartet under the name Devil-M. Firstly meant only as a solo-project by Max Meyer, Devil-M was born in November 2006, but was later enforced in 2009 by additional band members. Today you will also see on stage and hear on the album Lars Everwein on the guitar, Lisa Hass behind the bass and Sonja Langenfeld, who is taking care of sampling, keyboards as well as the additional vocals. After the band’s first and only EP so far, Willst Du Sterben (English: Do you want to die?) and their debut full length Kannst Du Sterben (English: Can you die?), this year the band is releasing their first full length via record label; with the striking and provocative title Revenge Of The Antichrist.
Now, if you first association was - as mine - the famous Antichrist Superstar album by the oh so loved and oh so hated industrial/shock rockers Marilyn Manson, let me tell you Devil-M does feature quite some influence by it, not only musically. Revenge Of The Antichrist’s layered execution of music may recall the Marilyn Manson meets Gothminister meets psycho thriller soundtrack effect, even the mutilation theatrics, when performing live, will remind you of what Mr. Manson likes to perform on stage. Furthermore, the band decided to add some visual artistic value to the album and you will find band members portrayed as tarot cards. Sounds familiar? Well, Marilyn Manson did so on their Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death) album. But okay, enough of this comparison, it’s just something that immediately popped into my mind, since I used to have that very Holy Wood tarot cards Marilyn Manson poster on my wall, when I was a teen. No matter what has just been said, that does not mean Devil-M are some silly MM copycats, because the reality is far from that.
On this album you will be following the story of a man named Astharat, who suffers from schizophrenia and murders his wife, Eden. Throughout the 13 tracks (and three remixes), you will be joining this hollow-hearted man dealing with most personal feelings of self-hatred, suicidal tendencies, inner struggles; seeking for redemption, faith and dismissing religion. Stylistically, Devil-M are roughly an industrial rock act, but the music structure on Revenge Of The Antichrist is much deeper and far more complex to be merely that; combining features of pure industrial rock, with some dark electro, electropunk, EBM and even some gothic metal elements. The sound, which accompanies the story, is vividly drawing the most asphyxiating, haunting and mind-consuming atmosphere. Through the dense electronic beats and raspy vocals done by Max himself, who is showing his vocal chords are capable of great versatility, your deepest and most hidden emotions will evoke and erupt like a volcano.
Revenge Of The Antichrist could roughly be divided into thirds. The first third of the album is mostly relying on hard electronic sampling and the heavy use of keyboards, bringing out danceable, but obscure rhythms. With ''From Birth To Death'', the album suddenly sets on fire, by adding more punchy guitars and fast, death metal drumming, thus creating more aggressive and striking sound. The adrenaline-charged ''Revenge Of The Antichrist Pt. 1'' is just what the title may suggest: a tenebrous and in-your-face hymn. Last, but not least, another twist in the compositions lays within ''Love Is Not Available'', which opens the gates into a world passionate sadness, and reaches its highlight with the wonderful, delicate ballad ''I Am God'', which is totally out of the comfort zone Devil-M seem to be in. This slow sonic masterpiece with Sonja on vocals creates staggering, thought-provoking and profound atmosphere, somehow resembling great gothic slow-paced, piano based songs. The short outro ''Harmful Scab'' then closes the story with a horrendous, shivery ambient, giving you a feeling you just watched a thriller, that will definitely have a sequel, as it keeps the suspense going.
After finishing this voyage, what can I say? I’m impressed and pleasantly delighted by the album’s versatility, consistency, strength and liquid dynamics, especially within the second and the last third of it. Just when I was thinking this will be just another industrial rock record, which will be leaning towards dark electro, it swept me of my feet with its diversity and high attention to details. Revenge Of The Antichrist is a solid release, combining different, yet closely related styles, which all blend in perfectly. Through the soundscapes it draws suffocating and tenebrous atmosphere, to which credit mostly goes to the dynamic use of samplings and Max’s darksome vocals. And since we follow a story of a man with inner-struggles, I believe every one of us can relate to that. This is not an album that would strike by a first listen and it needs some time, to get into it, but if you’re into some spine-chilling experimental industrial rock, you will definitely find some joy in this pitch-dark and bloodstained red, mystic album.
Review written by: Ines