It actually surprises me that I like this so much. Yeah, this might happen to be a death metal album, the obvious industrial influences are here. This album is pretty awkward, very clumsy and perhaps a bit compromised in its weirdness, but it still manages to hold up well against more obvious death metal sounding.Yes, you read it right though, "Devoutness" is a death metal album, and a very unique one at that, but there's also the obvious industrial elements that characterize the band's sound, but what's arguably even more unique is that there's actually a healthy dose of early grindcore found here as well. Vocalist does a nice job at imitating Napalm Death's vocals. I have to say, the brutality actually works pretty fucking fantastic. Sure, this album is unintentionally somewhat pretentious and awkward as a result, but again, it's that charm that keeps the majority of the album very enjoyable and most of the time the result is great no matter what.Technically, this album gets the job done. It's not anything special as it's somewhat basic for death metal riffing standards, but these italians made full advantage of their supreme knowledge of how to make simplicity work by creating what is hands down one of the catchiest death metal albums in 2015. It's obvious that this doesn't need stark technicality or complexity to be good, as this isn't really a riff-dependant album, the fact that the riffs are pretty catchy is a nice bonus, but I feel the complete package of a band mashing as much as they could into basically every song here is largely responsible for what makes this such a joy to hear.This is a work of immense depth, songs are somewhat clumsy but it's obvious that a lot of thought and care went into making each song awesome in its own right.I urge basically everyone to give this a spin, this album is just well-rounded and doesn't really lack anything it shouldn't lack. It's clumsy, awkward and probably not very self-aware, but it doesn't hold the album back more than strictly necessary. This is one of the most diverse death metal records ever, succesfully combining brutality, and it sounds awesome. This is Synapses,experimentation done oh so right.
Review by Paul Caravasi