THE KINGS HAVE RETURNED
When brutality comes full circle
Texas slam pioneers, Devourment, return to this year’s Chicago Domination Fest as a prelude to the long awaited fifth studio album release, “Obscene Majesty”
by Ryan A Vasquez
Texas was first introduced to the meaning of brutal death metal when this band formed in 1995.
Come 1999—courtesy of United Guttural—the world witnessed how brutal Texas death can be with the debut release, “Molesting The Decapitated,” despite the extreme metal revolution Europe, New York and Florida began.
Those of us in Texas that craved more than mainstream metal finally had a flagship band that delivered the aggression and absolute sickness we were needing.
This would be the first step in a historical journey that would set the bar for the future of brutal death metal and Texan metal musicians alike.
Devourment would move on to record three more intensely brutal albums: “Butcher The Weak,” Unleash The Carnivore,” and the last of which, “Conceived In Sewage,” released under the major label Relapse Records in 2013.
The more this band would continue to hit the stage, the greater the fan base would measure worldwide, creating a potency to the underground scene inspired fans came to respect and admire.
Continuing on a pioneering path, in 2014 a visionary named Miguel “Gore-grinder” Medina created the Chicago Domination Fest—a Chicago-based extreme music festival exhibiting some of the heaviest names in the underground industry.
Setting off this inaugural event, these four Texans made history by headlining this out-of-state extreme music festival atop of their midwest native peers.
Even though Devourment relentlessly played shows all over the world and participated in several music festivals, it would be six years since the last studio release.
And while so many other amazingly successful extreme metal bands had their day in the sun, release after release, tour after tour, everything else can take a back seat now.
The kings of brutal death metal are back with something new.
On August 16, the highly anticipated fifth studio album will finally be released, following the three singles that were let out to the public as a sample of where the band is today.
If you have yet to experience some of the newest material, the following video is to the single “Cognitive Sedation Butchery.”
As it stands today, the Chicago Domination Fest has grown into the largest extreme metal festival in the Midwest, with a full lineup itinerary for three days to include the toughest, most brutal names in the industry.
And like a mysterious twist of fate, once again these Texas legends find themselves headlining the final day of the event.
So much has happened since the last time this audience witnessed the intensity this band brings. If you’re wondering what kind of things, guitarist Chris Andrews spoke with RoM and filled in the blanks.
RoM: July 19, 2014, Devourment makes history by headlining the inaugural Chicago Domination Fest—the newest extreme music festival on a hot August weekend in Chi-town.
Had Eric Park (drums 2005 – 2014) and Mike Majewski (bass 1997 – 1999, 2001 / vox 2005 – 2014) already depart from the band by this performance bringing back on Brad Fincher (drums 1995 – 1999, 2001, 2014 – current) and Ruben Rosas (vox 1999, 2002 / guitar 2005 – 2014 / vox 2014 – current)? Tell me about this transition. [timelines taken from metal-archives.com]
Chris: All five of us traveled up to Chicago together with our driver, Dave Spencer (bass 2014 – current), but we ran out of food halfway through the trip so we had to eat Eric and Mike.
RoM: Five years later, Devourment is once again a headliner for the CDF, except this is the sixth annual of an event that has grown to be the largest festival in the Midwest and among the top death fests in the country.
Do you feel Devourment has changed any since the last time they saw you guys here?
Chris: Yeah, we’ve been together with this lineup for over five years now, so we are tighter. We were pretty good when we first started, but it’s impossible not to evolve with time the longer you play together.
RoM: With the tracks “Cognitive Sedation Butchery,” “Narcissistic Paraphilia” and “A Virulent Strain Of Retaliation,” we finally got a taste of the new material scheduled to be released Aug. 16 under Relapse Records—the long awaited fifth full length album, “Obscene Majesty.”
Producer D. Braxton Henry from the first three albums was brought on for this project. What was the strategy for this album?
Chris: We wanted this album to be so heavy that you could put it on and sink to the bottom of a lake.
RoM: It’s been quite the adventure for Devourment leading up to album #5. If you recall in late Oct. 2017, there was an 11 city Asia run including two nights in China, two nights in Japan, a stop in Korea, The Philippines, and so on.
What are some of the differences you guys found in metal culture and crowd response between Asia and America?
Chris: I guess, in general, the further away you get from home, the more people are excited to see you.
RoM: The year 2018 brought on the Netherlands Deathfest III, Las Vegas Death Fest X, Fincher receives a sponsorship from Trick Drums USA for playing the first-gen “Dominator” model double pedal for 10 years, and then tragedy strikes.
Erik Raymond Lindmark, CEO and founder of Unique Leader Records passes in late November. How did you take the news? Did this have any effect on the Dec. 8 Ft. Worth Rail Club Live performance with The Black Dahlia Murder, Havok, Ghoul, Lust and Skeletal Remains?
Chris: It was a big shock. I emailed him back and forth sometimes since they had reissued two of our albums, but I had no idea he was dealing with a fatal illness.
I was a huge Deeds Of Flesh fan, so it hit me twofold in that he was someone who I was communicating with and someone I looked up to.
It didn’t really have an effect on that December 8th show, though, that was more affected by the fact that the power went out for two hours and it was cold and rainy and outdoors.
RoM: Well, it’s deathfest season again. And Devourment is like a storm spreading its fury across the circuit, full-on.
The last dates to my knowledge are 10/3 and 10/4 in Dallas and Houston with Despised Icon, Kublai Khan, Ingested and Shadow Of Intent before you guys are done touring for the year, only two months after the album release.
So what’s the plan?
Chris: We’re taking a nap after all this Obscene Majesty business, but we’re playing out more in 2020.
RoM: As we discussed earlier, it’s amazing how things come full circle, and can be definitely be taken as a sign of things meant to be.
But if you could change anything, even dating as far back as 1999’s “Molesting The Decapitated,” thus changing the course of history for the band and your lives, what would it be?
Chris: I shouldn’t have cut my hair in 2005.
RoM: Message for the fans?
Chris: Hang in there.
The kind of impact this Dallas-native band has on the underground metal scene will forever hold it’s integrity, judging from the buzz around their previous performances. Who knows if in 1995 they had some sort of premonition of the chaos, the screaming fans begging for more or the anticipation for yet another album.
They were just four musicians wanting to share their sick artistry for others to hopefully enjoy as much as they did.
Fast forward to today, people will plan ahead by scheduling off from work, purchasing airline tickets, saving their money for the newest merch and properly stretching before the show, because it is the most brutal experience we’ve been looking forward to all year long.