DEVASTATION, Idolatry (1991, Combat)

The skull:
This band are committed not only to skull covers, but they have a particular fascination with blindfolded skulls. Their first album, 1987’s Violent Termination, featured multiple skulls, which got them kicked out of the Skullection, but the prominent skull was blindfolded. This motif repeats here, on the original cover art for their their third album, but this time it’s a drawn cover (the first album was a photograph). The cover art resembles Pushead’s style, although it’s not him. It’s a legitimately great cover, but between cannibalizing their own ideas (blindfolded skulls), using artwork that looks like a Pushead rip-off, and never having found their own musical voice, Devastation are the epitome of unoriginality.

The music:
This Texas band’s first album was shabby death/thrash with terrible vocals; their second album was a Dark Angel ripoff; Idolatry, their third, is probably their best, but it too finds the band looking for some kind of unique identity. It sounds like Possessed in the Eyes of Horror era, only not as good. Vocalist Rodney Dunsmore sounds especially like Jeff Beccera (here’s where I say again: “only not as good”). Cool production, quality drum and guitar sounds. One can spot sonic references to Massacre’s From Beyond, just in a more thrash-oriented framework. But it all falls flat when the songs aren’t that good and the riffs are dull.
— Friar Wagner


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