Chaos Invocation - Official Website

Devil, Stone & Man

Germany Country of Origin: Germany

1. Strike Of The Dominator's Fist
2. A Stranger's Pale Hand
3. Diabolical Hammer
4. Odonata Fields
5. Where We Have Taken The Cross
6. Triple Fire
7. Curses Upon You
8. The Revolting Abyss
9. Sacrifices

Review by Fernando on February 15, 2022.

Germany is a country that is no stranger to metal, one could also consider them a key country in the development of extreme metal, for better or worse, but I digress. On that same topic, it is also a wellspring of black metal, and after four years, Chaos Invocation returns with their fourth opus Devil, Stone & Man, to be released by W.T.C. Records.

Chaos Invocation has been around since 2004 and have consistently released quality Satanic black metal that’s equal parts intense, punishing, disharmonically melodic and with an appropriately dark atmosphere. They’ve been improving with each album since 2009 and with Devil, Stone & Man the band continue this upwards scale of improvement, and it is by far one of their best records yet. The first and major improvement is in the production quality. While Chaos Invocation have always had relatively good production in terms of full lengths this record is their best sounding, courtesy of Dark Fortress mastermind V. Santura and with Davide Gorrini of Frostmoon Eclipse fame handling the drum recording. The excellent production is one of the key ingredients in this record being outstandingly good but actual music and performances of the band are also flawless and precise. The guitars of founding member A. have a harsh and screeching tone which seamlessly works for both fast and furious riffing, as well as the more melodic and technical passages, and this also extends to the soaring soloing work. The drumming of Omega is top notch, as expected from a veteran of his caliber, and I believe the vocals of co-founding member M. give Chaos Invocation their uniqueness. His growling and raspy vocals (also featured in uncanny choirs, and growled spoken word like passages) perfectly tie all the music together and complete the utterly dark and ritualistic atmosphere. A. also contributes some vocal work, and the whole result is demonic in the best possible way. The bass work of Tumulash is the one area that’s not quite outstanding but it does the job well enough, and he succeeds in both complementing the guitars and matching the speed and technical proficiency which is also an admirable trait.

Furthermore, what makes this record sound so good is the band’s performance as a unit. Both the excellent production and individual skills of each member are key components, but how it all sounds together is where Devil, Stone & Man truly shines. The band has always excelled at balancing fast and aggressive music with more technical and melodic elements. It is very dynamic and sprawling, without feeling bloated or rushed and the band can keep the momentum of furious anthems like ‘Strike Of The Dominator’s Fist’ and ‘A Stranger’s Pale Hands’ and organically switch to somber dirges like ‘Diabolical Hammer’, as well as to venture in somewhat Avant-garde territories that are reminiscent of Deathspell Omega and Aosoth like ‘Odonata Fields', and the instrumental final track ‘Sacrifices’. They successfully switch back and forth between speed, aggression, melody and technicality throughout the album, all the while never losing or discarding the Satanic atmosphere and authentic performances. And with a runtime of 44 minutes, the whole experience is concise and substantial, as nothing is protracted or rushed.

Overall, Chaos Invocation continues succeeding in maintaining the spirit of true Satanic black metal as well as pushing the boundaries of black metal with their own signature. The only real issue here is how the record is pure black metal, and therefore, purposefully inaccessible, but this is one of those records that’s worth engaging with and soldiering through the harsh sound and punishing atmosphere.

Best tracks: ‘Strike Of The Dominator's Fist’, ‘A Stranger's Pale Hand’, ‘Odonata Fields’, ‘Curses Upon You’, ‘The Revolting Abyss’

Rating: 9 out of 10