The Devils of Loudun – Entering Oblivion (Self-Released)

Sunday, 3rd May 2015
Rating: 8/10

The Devils of Loudun (yes, based upon the Aldous Huxley book of the same name) aim to make quite a splash in the pond with their first EP, Entering Oblivion. Combining symphonic material with melodic death metal is nothing new, but the level of depth that The Devils of Loudun bring to the table this early on in the game is nothing short of impressive.

Entering Oblivion opens with a mood-setting piece that is just some quaint keys, but quickly elevates with “Dominion.” Taking the opening symphonic melody and immediately wrapping the rest of the band around it makes for a wicked beginning. These four tracks form a tight symbiosis between the “metal” and the “symphonic” parts. Meaning that the symphonic element permeates a large part of the album, but the music never loses bite. Often forging ahead with blast beats in tow, the riffing leans towards the technical end of the melodic death spectrum, owing more to US bands such as Allegaeon and Arsis than the older Scandinavian pack. “Born from Science” is the winner in this department, offering the best showcase for The Devils’ penchant for heavy grooves, gripping technicality, and of course, atmosphere-enhancing keyboards. Lastly, the vocals are brutal roars for the most part, perhaps more guttural than you may expect, but suit the sound just fine.

The clear cut “Bandcamp” winner of the year at this point in time, The Devils of Loudun have what it takes to make a name for themselves going forward. The integration of symphonic elements that enhance instead of take center-stage and riveting guitarwork keep them out of the crosshairs of a number of like-minded bands and set them on their own pathway. A high-energy example of what can be done with symphonic, melodic death metal. Just think of what they could do with a full length release!

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