Daeva – Through Sheer Will and Black Magic… (Review)

Daeva - Through Sheer Will and Black MagicThis is the debut album from US black/thrash metallers Daeva.

This is the follow up to 2017’s Pulsing Dark Absorptions, which seems like it was released way back in the depths of time, but in reality was actually only five years ago. Through Sheer Will and Black Magic… delivers 37 minutes of characterful carnage. I’m not the biggest fan of blackened thrash, but when done well as it is here, I pay attention.

Daeva’s music combines early black metal with equally early thrash and death metal, leading to songs that are whirlwinds of destruction and chaos. Imagine a corrupt mix of Darkthrone, Morbid Angel, Slayer, and Possessed, and you’ll be on the right lines.

The band melt down ancient black, death, and thrash metal and forge the resulting raw material into blistering riffs, unhinged drums, and fierce blackened rasps. Although Daeva certainly have their unrestrained feral side, the music also has a technicality to it on occasion that’s rarely heard on something like this. Also unusual, but one of the things I like about this album, is how eerie or tense or mood-rich parts of it sound, which is not something that can usually be said about blackthrash. Whether this manifests in the intro track in its entirety, or is confined to a sinister lead, or rises up out of the abyss for an entire section, it’s another interesting aspect of Daeva’s material.

The songs are well-written and balance mayhem and legible structures well. The album has a good flow and is surprisingly well-rounded for a blackthrash album; rather than going full bore in for the kill all of the time, as is par for the course for the genre, Daeva play with blackened dynamics and insert atmospheric elements in order to make for a better, stronger album and to hold the listener’s attention throughout. In this, they succeed nicely.

Oh, and the riffs…so many riffs!

Through Sheer Will and Black Magic… was worth the wait. Daeva’s debut album is nasty, grim, and foul, in all of the right ways. It’s also packed with hooks and has enough attitude to knock down a mountain.

Yep, this is damn good stuff. Very highly recommended.

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