Here’s a unique and challenging album from the usually predictable Unique Leader Records. Hailing from Australia but residing in Los Angeles, Devolved have 3 previous full length albums under their belts, none of which I’ve heard, so I had nothing to compare this blind purchase to. My last blind purchase was also a Unique Leader release, Inanimate Existence‘s excellent tech death record, Liberation Through Hearing, so I thought this might be along the same lines.

A little bit wrong I was.

What we have here is a interesting  style of metal that mixes chunky almost cyber, futuristic style of metal along lines of Fear Factory and  Strapping Young Lad, with some djent-y leanings like Meshuggah and such, but then  inject the whole affair with bursts of warp speed  technical death metal similar to the likes of Beneath the Massacre or even Origin. Cyber-tech-djent-death- metal I guess? Some may detect a hint of deathcore or metalore, especially in the more mid range vocals, but don’t let genre tags put you off a savage display of  mechanical technical mastery.

Regardless of everything at play here- it’s impeccably played with a incredible level of skill and precision that warrants your attention. Drummer John Sankey, who has played in pre Tim Yeung Divine Heresy as well as a live performer for Fear Factory, is literally a machine behind the kit giving the music its considerable mechanical/industrial tinge. But the trio isn’t just  content to just lurch and stagger with djent-y muted riffs. They spent about 1/2 of the album delivering surgically  technical death metal that’s on par with most of the label’s offerings but with a cleaner, intelligent, cyber edge rather than purely guttural brutality.

Both styles are delivered impressively from the throttling twiddly tech death assault of openers “Systematic Avenger”,  and “Accelerated Human Degeneration” through the deliberate lurch of “Embodiment”, blistering mechanized thrash of  “Apocalyptic Visionary”  and massive lope of “Corrupted Mind Processor”. Though I could have done without the spoken words and  samples of instrumental closer “Inanimate Infinity” . A few futuristic sample and robotic whispers keep the album clinically robotic, but nothing that takes it into pure cyber metal territory.  And the album ends with a cover of Exhorder‘s “(Cadence of) The Dirge”, a very cool and left field cover for the band’s style, giving a Southern crawl a mean cybernetic edge.

Devolved sits  stylistically and thematically somewhere in the ball park of The Faceless, Anomalous, Vildjharta and Fear Factory, so if a excellent mix of all those bands and styles appeals to you, go ahead and grab this late year surprise from Unique Leader Records.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 21st, 2012


  1. Commented by: Luke_22

    I’m intrigued and a little surprised they are still around and are on Unique Leader now. Only have vague memories of them bursting onto the local scene some years ago but never being blown away by them. Sounds like a nice reinvention.

  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    He’s literally a machine, huh?

  3. Commented by: diggedy1

    Was waiting to read a positive review of this before I went ahead and grabbed it, so thanks again E. Thomas! Anyone who liked FF’s Mechanize but not Industrialist will totally love this album, which is ironic since Sankey programmed the drums on Industrialist. Also checked out Inanimate Existence…you can grab both albums for $5 DL on amazon right now.

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