Devouring The Divine
Review by Felix on November 7, 2019.
The filthy scene of Greece is full of infernal creatures that spread the message of vileness and evil. Just think of Ravencult, Nadiwrath or Hate Manifesto. Sad is a long-serving black metal unit. Due to the personal inadequacies that haunt me since my birth, I am not familiar with the entire catalogue of Sad. Anyway, Devouring the Divine, the fifth full-length, indicates a profound understanding of black metal. Norwegian influences cannot be denied, the dense guitar leads generate a cold atmosphere. Yet the coldest element is contributed by the lead vocals. Do not expect any form of human warmth. The shrill, distorted nagging adds a homicidal component. Yet it neither sounds gnome-like nor dwarfish. The trolls did not come out of the forest, too. Instead, these vocals express the spirit of the sub-genre in view of its reckless dedication.
I knew that I had to buy this album as soon as I heard "Unholy Crusade" on YouTube. The mid-paced rhythm and the compelling, razor-sharp riff that appear after 3:04 minutes shape a neck breaking effect which dictated me to order Devouring the Divine immediately. This is really an outstanding section, but the album has more fascinating facets. Generally speaking, the band acts energetically without making any shaky compromise. From this follows that the album is for those who like to be part of the closed society of black metal. Experiments are for wimps, idiots or Christians. (Well, some might say that these three words are synonyms for each other, yet I beg to differ. Nevertheless, there is a certain overlap.) Moreover, the impulsive beginning of the closer is really amazing. Sad create a firestorm which is devastating enough to destroy everything that stands in its way. Okay, some songs might be a little bit too long, but almost all of them house more or less great parts. Moreover, despite the strict guidelines of the sub-genre, the seven pieces do not lack variety. They are cut from the same cloth without being monotonous. It is just paradoxical that exactly the opener fails to develop a diabolic force. Due to the somehow average leads, this song kicks off the album, defines its direction and that's it.
Sad do not add new elements, their form of black metal is generic. Other bands from Greece, for example Acherontas or Enshadowed, integrate ritualistic or slightly experimental sounds, but Sad rather enjoy the pure black metal brew. The no frills production supports this approach fittingly with the effect that the single components of the album go hand in hand. Consequently, this is the honest work of an authentic (and, of course, filthy and slightly stinky) formation. Carcass once sang about the "Reek of Putrefaction", but I enjoy the music of every Greek of putrefaction. Devouring the Divine is no milestone, it could be more compact and more individual. Nevertheless, every black metal fan who buys this album will get a very solid and robust full-length.
Rating: 7.2 out of 10125