Five years ago, Philadelphia’s Black Thrashers Daeva released their debut EP, Pulsing Dark Absorptions, five tracks which included a blistering cover of Mayhem’s Deathcrush. Having grabbed our attention then, they finally return with their debut full-length release Through Sheer Will And Black Magic… another meld of raw ’80s Black Metal and equally raw ’80s Thrash, but with a modern twist keeping the feel both current and vital.
Daeva – Through Sheer Will And Black Magic… (20 Buck Spin)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Jools Green
The result is brutally imposing, fast and utterly enthralling, and vocally this, like the previous release, is hugely impressive, thanks to the venomously acidic, broad vocal range of vocalist Edward Gonet.
There have been two changes to the line-up since the EP with Frank Chin on bass and Enrique Sagarnaga on drums joining original members guitarist Steve Jansson and the previously mentioned Edward Gonet, making them a quartet rather than the previous trio line-up of the EP.
Following the Intro, Emanations, The Architect and The Monument makes it clear from the start that this album is all about speed, power and dark brutality. The vocals are clear, cavernous and acidic, the riffs fast and complex, the drum work unrelentingly pummelling, and there’s a great thrashy undercurrent binding the blackened brutality together, making it superbly engaging. The second-half leadwork is pretty tasty too.
Arena At Dis is a brutal pummelling beast again from the offset but with a more pronounced Thrash leaning which offsets superbly against the very blackened vocal delivery. After the second half burst of flamboyant Thrash leadwork, a more blackened undercurrent emerges.
Passion Under The Hammer has impressively complex riffs to open and delightfully evil vocalisations throughout, a hypnotic repeating core and squealing leadwork just before midway, after which the pace slows, and the direction takes a shift. It may be slower, but it’s no less sinister, which is reflected in the vocals, too, closing on an eerie reflective passage, a well-constructed piece.
Loosen The Tongue Of The Dead builds out of the previous offering, a wall of driving riffs, and squealing leadwork. Once the hugely expressive and impressive evil-blackened vocals and drum work kick in, all hell breaks loose in the most engagingly all-encompassing manner you could wish for. Then, once you get past midway, the pace drops, allowing for more sinister intonation and protraction in the vocal department.
Fragmenting In Ritual Splendor opens on an unnerving growl and a burst of fast guitar work. But it’s when the pace drops back slightly, and the superbly sinister vocal delivery arrives that the track really comes into its own. The pace soon picks up, bolstering the vocals further with leadwork that has more of a Death Metal leaning, which makes an interesting change and contrasts the thrashy undercurrent. This impressively complex track melds so many elements so well.
Polluting The Sanctuary (Revolutions Against Faith) initially breaks out into a thrashy gallop, garnished with acidic, often cavernous, blackened vocals, but Daeva never stay strictly on one course. Blackened elements weave in and out of the thrashy core.
The penultimate offering, Itch Of The Bottle, drives off the starting block with blackened intent, developing complexity in the riffs as the track progresses as well as shifting pace with seamless fluidity. A wonderfully Black engaging track.
The final track, Luciferian Return, is a monster of just over seven minutes duration and is almost a precis of the musical exploration of the previous tracks. Black and ominous at the core, there are also a myriad of other elements melded together in a subtly progressive and Avant Garde manner.
I have no favourite tracks here. This is end-to-end superb. This is an album that is certain to be of immense interest, to put it mildly, to fans of bands like Aura Noir, Nifelheim, Bathory, Darkthrone or Absu, to name a few.
It definitely deserves at least thirty-six minutes of your time, but you’ll want to give more.
The painting style artwork by Karmazid is complex and fascinating, much like this album, which will be available as CD, LP, tape and digital download with distribution through Soulfood.