DEVASTATION, Idolatry (reissue) (2008, Forged in Fire)
A first in the skullection, a second entry for a single album (q.v. SKULL14). Why they felt the need to change the cover is beyond me, as the original was more or less the best thing about the album. But, at least they’ve stayed committed to the big dumb skull. Replacing the grim and staid original is a rather cartoonish fellow. The blindfold motif is also maintained (the true trademark of Devastation), although obviously here the cloth is torn, or at least poorly tied, exposing that one glaring peeper. The skull is ringed by some kind of occult-looking circle, chiseled with the various icons of many major religions. Idolatry, man. And some lightning, because lightning is cool.
Friar Wagner adequately spoke to the adequatulence of this album in his post, so I’ll merely add a few words about the three old tracks, freshly recorded by the reactivated band for this reissue. None of these tunes were originally recorded for Idolatry, so I can’t quite say why they chose these to redo, or why they thought this would be a better reintroduction to the band than some new songs. But, they do play their own songs well, again, so I guess they’ve got that going on. One thing that can be said is that Devastation doesn’t sound at all like the million new thrash bands plying their wares today. Its funny to think that even a third rate band from the original thrash wave has about 100x more originality and personality than the legions of fresh-faced mosh enthusiasts following the dubious lead of Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust. Vocalist Rodney Dunsmore is still pretty bad, a charmless barker who’s probably too old to be putting on tough-guy airs, but the band does manage a certain groove and swagger. Is that sufficient to justify their return? Probably not, but I guess they’re not hurting anyone. I will reconsider my opinion, however, if they release a new album with another excellent BDS!
— Friar Johnsen