Genocide Shrines – Devanation Monumentemples EP Review (2012)

Aside from inventive use of portmanteau, Genocide Shrines offer little of novelty on their debut EP. The riffs here, simplistic as they are,  lie buried under an overwhelmingly reverb-soaked production, a bane of more than one modern band working the war metal/Incantation/Portal template, be it through creative deficiency or a misbegotten comprehension of atmospheric dynamics. It bears to remember that bands like Order From Chaos, Sacramentary Abolishment, even Angelcorpse – acts undoubtedly looked up to by the new wave – never used density to disguise lazy songwriting.

Devanation Monumentemples posits scant evidence of anything that hasn’t previously been heard in Blasphemy‘s pioneering work in the early 90s. Blasting drums supplement riffs consisting of rapidly strummed 2-3 notes on the lowest strings, barely audible but just enough to suggest a disappointing lack of evolution in song structure. Genocide Shrines slow down with clockwork regularity as well, showing an intimate acquaintance with the arts of groove and crowd-appeasement. These parts are built for a live audience, existing as place holders between points of entry and egress; of themselves possessing little compositional intelligence, they serve as substitutes for traditional verse-chorus forms.

Every song on Devanation Monumentemples is a conveniently symmetrical A-B-A bundle, a monotony that no amount of samples and esoteric lyrics can suppress. Style over substance may seem like harsh commentary for a death metal album of such lo-fi credentials yet is all the more pertinent in a scene overrun by bands with no claim to the contrary.

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10 Responses to Genocide Shrines – Devanation Monumentemples EP Review (2012)

  1. chaosmongersalive says:

    I must agree with you here,it’s another case of Reverb over riffs, also everything about it seems somewhat contrived and deliberately designed to please a certain audience.But to their credit they’ve got all their bases covered,these lads are set for underground super stardom.

    • …while a band like Diskord goes practically unnoticed. Such is life huh?!

      I can’t imagine anyone who’s ever heard Fallen Angel Of Doom/Gods Of War could be taken in by this stuff. They mimic everything, from general aesthetic down to those disgusted vocal grunts at the end of every other phrase. i’m not saying this won’t sound fun and energetic in a live setting but it has very little actual content on record.

      • Shiva says:

        The problem is you view everything from your reclusive sit-in-a-room-and-comment perspective, and don’t take into account scene-specific demographics and also the need for bands to keep a certain type of sound alive. First of all, for bands to achieve this aesthetic is rare in the subcontinent, a land filled with half-assed excuses for extreme metal acts like Reptilian Death and Solar Deity. Genocide Shrines very successfully channels the sound of bands like demo-era Beherit, Teitanblood, Archgoat, Wrathprayer and Proclamation and has combined it with occult and native sensibilities in a fantastic manner. There is no need for all bands to be some sort of virtuosic endeavors constantly striving for an original or tecchnical sound, that has happened automatically in the case of Genocide Shrines to an extent as they’ve combined their various influences in a cohesive manner. Such music is wholly aesthetic-driven, so looking for technical precision in the riffs is just not getting the point, these supposedly linear riffs successfully establish the atmospheres trying to be made.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Shiva. I love Beherit and Teitanblood to be honest. Genocide Shrines, however, show none of the poetic scope that a band like Beherit has through the years, even in their industrial phase. My discontent with them isn’t over lack of virtuosity, screw that. Simple structures are perfectly fine but without adequate movement the songs just don’t hold up. Sure, they nail the aesthetics; I said as much in the review. Unfortunately that’s about all there is to it as of now.

    • Shiva says:

      Fair enough, comprehensive review as a whole though. You have a fine grasp over the intricacies of the music, no doubt. Looking forward to more reviews.

  3. gk says:

    honestly, i was impressed by this recording the first couple of times i heard it but the more i listened to it, the less it became. I think you nailed the exact reasons why this fails. very good review.

    • I’m sure it makes for fun live material when you’re wasted and don’t know any better. But this whole war metal trend in Asia is verging on the ridiculous now. Nobody’s going to remember any of this stuff ten years from now.

      • chaosmongersalive says:

        But it isn’t war metal in the style of conqueror/revenge or the more riff driven blapshemy/blasphemophagher.While it isn’t wholly original, i think they channel that teitanblood meets archgoat sound very well, and yes they sound devastating live, wasted or not.But yes, this whole gasmaskgoatkvlting fast becoming a joke and more and more contrived.

  4. It also may have to do with how Asian bands go more down the black/punk/D-beat route. Not Genocide Shrines, but a lot of it feels like crossover to me, sort of loses the “grander” vibe that the old bands had.

  5. Pingback: Genocide shrines – Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil (2015) | Old Disgruntled Bastard

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