Devouring Famine has become a nearly ubiquitous presence in the underground black metal scene the past year. Hailing from California, the one-man solo project from the Eastern United States, has released a fourth Demo in November of 2022, following three unfinished demos in the months prior. Upon visiting these others, it would be safe to say this release represents a more fully conceptualized work worthy of re-listens.
The music on this demo has a clearly strong depressive black metal influence, but still energetic enough to be uplifting emotionally. The tracks begin with a short riff introduction that sets the mood of the track, before giving way to mid-paced tremolo riffs, which are layered with supporting blast beats and ghastly shrieks. The riffs are very melancholic and somber, but with a wide variety of variations every few measures.
The vocals are high-pitched shrieks reminiscent of other depressive black metal projects, such as Deathspell Omega. They are not very loud in the overall mix except for during vocal parts where there is no supporting instrumentation. With the exception of these isolated passages, they blend well into the background of the music and serve to add texture rather than showcase any particular aspect of the performance.
While there are brief moments where faster tempos emerge and blast beats can be heard below the surface of the music, this album is mostly slower paced and focuses on emphasizing atmosphere over speed or technicality. Static crackling serve to support this atmosphere, especially during intro tracks where they are layered into the background behind acoustic strumming, evoking emotive and pensive thoughts towards the end of the demo on the track Smother.
This demo should be on the list of top underground releases of 2022. I am looking forward with great anticipation to more releases from this talented and dedicated artist.