Deveria – Suicide Forest

Suicide Forest Album Cover Art

Deveria – Suicide Forest
Animated Insanity Records
Release Date: 17/03/2021
Running Time: 50:37
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Deveria describe themselves as being a Progressive Power/Thrash hybrid and are based in Upstate New York, USA. They’ve had a fairly chequered history, having originally formed in 2008, got an EP out and then disbanded for eight years, with this line up once again forming around front man Chuck Woodward. So this debut album has been a long time coming…

Musically these chaps are very, very tight. The intro track ‘The Beginning Of…’ builds up the layers of sound with some thundering drum work before launching into the full on attack of ‘Silent Cries’. The instruments keep those arrangements tight, but suffer somewhat from the production values. The problem is the vocals sound just that little too high in the mix, with the guitars in particular being in danger of being drowned out completely – particularly by the bass which is so high up in the mix that I was reminded of what happened when Iron Maiden let Steve Harris first try out the producer’s chair.

In parts I am reminded vocally of early Queensrÿche, in that period when Geoff Tate hadn’t quite taken hold of the flame with his lyrical phrasing and although that voice showed tremendous promise, the vocal lines tended to meander somewhat. Woodard does something similar – his voice has power and range but sometimes seems slightly at odds with what the music is doing. There’s a fine line between creating an element of musical tension by being half a tone out from what the melody lines are doing and sounding plain out of key, and this album walks that line once or twice – but the bigger problem is that the instrumentation is just too damned quiet. It’s actually the times when he turns on the more extreme vocal styles that he is actually at his most effective, as it forces a dirtier sound from the rest of the band and the frustrating thing is those stronger and more rounded songs are some way back in the running order. We’re well over half way through before things really get going for my money and the intermittent bursts of pure Thrash from ‘Reign of Fire’ is actually the point when the record really grabs me and starts to run.

Mostly the song writing is pretty solid, with some clever technical arrangements – the title track being a good example, but it’s really let down by that production sound, which is crying out for those guitars to be much more in your face, crunchy and dirty than the slightly too crisp and sanitised sound they have. When they do start to get a bit more down and dirty, say with ‘Kingdom of Evermore’ the effect is immediately obvious in a song that takes you along for the ride, rather than wanting to give notes of improvement. I’m far from writing these boys off though as there is enormous promise here, and no small amount of technical skill and proficiency – but desperately needs someone with a good Metal pedigree on the mixing desk to bring out the best in a more consistent manner. Nonetheless a very promising start.

‘Suicide Forest’ (Official video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Beginning Of…
02. Silent Cries
03. Suicide Forest
04. Fate
05. Demons Inside Me
06. Reign of Fire
07. Kingdom of Evermore
08. Miracles
09. IX
10. One Nation
11. …The End

LINE-UP:
Chuck Woodard – Lead Vocals
John Suski – Drums
Marvin Veeder – Bass
Christian Bivona – Guitar

LINKS:

Deveria Promo Picture

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