Arisen from bristling enthusiasm that only a teenaged love of thrash metal forms could inspire, the birth of Busto Arsizio, Italy thrashers Warstorm manifested as if a rite of manhood where intensifying skills would soon lead to shifting sands of interest and inspiration. The core love of pure thrash metal is exactly the right foundation for all extreme metal education and as such, the precursor to void-spawned deaths-head Devoid of Thought would come appreciably beyond the brutally neck-wrenching stylistic peak of ‘Goatspel‘. From that point Warstorm would split and splinter all energy between post-NucleardeatH party-boi thrashers Rejected and the now fully hatched Devoid of Thought. To have witnessed their debut demo tape ‘Astral Necrosis’ (2017) was to breathe the foul must of a thousand hours of ideas; There was such eagerness and urgency within that first blender of technical death/thrash metal and classically achieved cavernous death metal, it was a belch of righteous energy that lacked all but a hint of the mountainous death-musical treachery they’d bring today with their second tape ‘Cosmic Apoptosis’.
They’re still snapping their elastically strung riffs out in a beyond death/thrashing form but most of the narrative portions of ‘Cosmic Apoptosis’ drive at the speed of ‘Unholy Cult’-era Immolation, complete with an “Of Martyrs and Men” sort of bass guitar presence that is endlessly satisfying. The gnarled build, plateau and crashing collapse of “Necronaut” is an entirely new shade of obsidian vibe that feels serious and chaotically dismal from its first plow-driven chord to its wailing finale. We’d heard those grand ambitions before on ‘Astral Necrosis’ but its density and awkwardly beaten style dulled the intended atmospheric value, ‘Cosmic Apoptosis’ corrects this without losing relevance to that first release. “Stargrave” continues on this same thread with an even greater violence in its attack but, the jog of “Tomb Marauders Horde” began to feel just slightly out of place when considered next to its bookends. This feeling would subside with greater familiarity for the whole spin but, I felt those chuggy Scandinavian riffs in the mid-portion of the song were somewhat plain, a la Under the Church, compared to their surroundings.
If the obscured grime of underground death metal is the only food you’ll accept then there will be no starvation in the company of Devoid of Thought and I continue to be impressed by the tasteful curation of Caligari Records releases. Though I find great satisfaction in ‘Cosmic Apoptosis’ in terms of production, riffs, atmosphere and presentation I know they are capable of even greater things. This release marks an admirable mining of style and sound, it’d seem that the next step beyond would see them landing upon a decisive songwriting sense. I would take a hundred more of these tapes, though, and I couldn’t be more impressed at how brilliantly Devoid of Thought are developing. Highly recommended. For preview I’d recommend the whole thing but unquestionably give “Stargrave” a try, it is a damned trip.
Endless ravages. 4.25/5.0
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