The Devils of Loudon
Enduring Creation EP

Here’s a fine example of how symphonic elements added to metal can truly work regardless of genre. Hailing from Seattle, and named after a 17th century Demonic possession event in France, The Devils of Loudon mix over the top symphonics and European melodic death/black metal melodies with modern, shreddy death metal, dare I say even deathcore- styled death metal. Imagine if you will (early) Children of Bodom mixed or other classically inspired, keyboard heavy 90s melo death such as Lothlorien, Ebony Tears, Embracing melded with say Alterbeast or Wretched.

On paper, that may make some of you groan, but on this, the band’s second EP (the first, Entering Oblivion is just as good) , they make it work into an epic, shredding affair that’s over the top , yet skilled and enjoyable. The backbone of the music, especially the vocals, might put some off as it is a dual inhaled deep growl/scream style of death metal with a few breakdowns here and there, but even compared to other deathcore bands that have added keyboards (The Breathing Process, Winds of Plague, Carnifex etc) this comes across far more as rooted in the classic, solo laden noodlings of the Finnish and Scandinavian scene of the 90s, and far less ‘core’ rooted.

Even the keys have they throwback, classical vibe with lots of piano tinkling and chamber music delicacy, but it’s up front and center, not a backdrop or piecemeal. The orchestration is as pretty full on as the shredding, busy music it plays companion to.  Not quite the dramatic, atmospheric Fleshgod Apocalypse film/score orchestra, but a more playful, swirling, power metal, almost cheesy elegance.The five songs comprise a little over 25 minutes, and it’s all pretty darn impressive. From opener “Cast the Stone” to 7 minute closer “Outcast of Existence”, the six piece fires on all cylinders with rarely any let down, though there is a brief respite bridging “Thrown to the Void” and “Beyond the Sanctum” and the aforementioned closer starts with a little more controlled pace.

In all, one of the more promising young US bands I have heard in a while, but then again , I am a sucker for keyboards in extreme metal. I really hope they get picked up, I’m just not sure what label and what audience this gregarious combination would appease.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 27th, 2016

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