On Human Devolution is the debut full-length from Greek metal band Deathcraeft. The brainchild of guitarist Kostas Kalampokas, Deathcraeft grabs a battle axe and chops up aspects black metal, thrash, and death metal and mashes them together to form the project’s brutal sound. On Human Devolution doesn’t do a tonne to expand upon any of the genres that it draws on, but Kalampokas and company has a great handle on what it takes to put together a truly brutal set of tunes.
“The Ritual” gets off to a bit of a slow start, but the song as a whole really encapsulates what Deathcraeft are going for. The blending together of thrash riffs and more extreme styles of metal is reminiscent of bands like Creeping Death or Mammoth Grinder, but Nikonas Tsolakos’ diverse vocals bring things to another level. Some other standout tracks from On Human Devolution include the over-the-top tunes “Welcome to Oblivion” and “Daydreaming in the Abyss,” both of which place extra emphasis on the instrumentation and come across somewhat operatic.
Deathcraeft are a terrific metal band, but, as I alluded to earlier, they aren’t doing a whole lot to push the boundaries. “Spreading Lies” is a good example of a tune that could have been something interesting. The song’s opening orchestral passage adds a cool sense of tension, but once the full band comes in, it’s back to the same old Deathcraeft. The strings pop up throughout the rest of “Spreading Lies,” but after the first minute, they just follow the guitar work. Given the band’s musical chops and impressive vocal range, it would have been great to hear them try to carry the sombre opening passage a little further.
Deathcraeft aren’t reinventing the wheel on this debut, but that’s not to say they haven’t done a solid job. Maybe you’re just in the mood for some extreme, but not too extreme, metal. Maybe you’re like me and you need something to pull you out of the funk brought about by a nineteen-year-old child hitting your car while you were on your way to get a burrito. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for something aggressive, On Human Devolution has you covered.
Written by Justin Bruce
*Edited by Dominic Abate