With an album title like Grim, Hateful and Drunk, it’s pretty easy to guess what you’re getting from France’s Devilspit. Filthy, punk-influenced black metal is the name of the game here, so if you’re into similarly scuzzy shit such as Whipstriker and DeathCult, you best grab a bottle or twelve of your favorite rotgut and cuddle up with this disgusting tape, which is currently being peddled in a limited edition of two hundred by our pals at the venerable Caligari Records.
Devilspit is a one-man affair, and I’m always happy to see a solitary black metal project that strays from the depressive BM path, because lets face it kids, the fact that Xasthur’s vast catalog exists renders your suicidal basement black metal projects utterly irrelevant, so its best to not even go there. Don’t get me wrong, Devilspit is plenty grim, but grim in a way that says “fuck you, I’m going to do whatever I want, and right now I want to set you on fire and then put out the flames with my piss” as opposed to “fuck you, humanity sucks, I’m going to go kill myself.”
Devilspit is black metal through and through, but the punk influence that permeates the music infuses it with a very different energy; it’s as if Nuit Noire decided to get obliterated on cheap booze and ditch the faerie stuff. But more so even than Nuit Noire, Devilspit seems to be a kindred spirit to Diapsiquir, not so much in sound, but in overall vibe; Devilspit has that same “laying in a gutter filled with your own shit, blood and vomit” thing going on that Diapsiquir does, albeit with a completely different set of influences. The French are experts at harnessing this sort of savage ugliness… must be something in the water.
Production-wise, Grim, Hateful and Drunk is exactly the exercise in lo-fi scumbaggery you’d imagine it to be, but there’s a surprising level of clarity to the mix, with plenty of separation between instruments. The liner notes state only that the album was recorded at Ty Ar Hoat studios, which for all I know could be a four track recorder in a garage somewhere, but I can say that the production quality strikes a fine balance between professionalism and ramshackle DIY clatter. There’s a part of me that actually wants this thing to sound even nastier than it does, but make no mistake, the demo is sufficiently down ‘n’ dirty for your metal-punk needs.
The black metal/punk hybrid thing has been gaining quite a bit of ground of late with the likes of Midnight and Toxic Holocaust becoming ever more popular, but most of the bands doing this style aren’t anywhere near as raw, rough ‘n’ ready as Devilspit. What the project lacks in innovation it makes up for with plenty of grit and bad attitude. Indeed, Grim, Hateful and Drunk ain’t gonna win any awards for a originality, but it will drag you down a dark alley and kick the shit out of you.