Devourment is an American brutal death metal (slam) band, and quite possibly THE slam band at that. Categorized by their ultra-low vocals, heavily mosh-oriented riffing that focuses less on technicality and more on sheer, unrelenting heaviness, and highly complex and technical drumming that focuses less on blasting and more on winding grooves, Devourment is generally the first band that people think of when they think of slam, and for good reason.
Formed in Dallas, Texas in 1995 out of the ashes of Necrocide, the initial lineup consisted of Wayne Knupp (vocals), Braxton Henry (guitars), and Brad Fincher (drums), but Henry was quickly replaced by Brian Wynn after the band very nearly folded completely before even getting off the ground. Kevin Clark (guitars) and Mike Majewski (bass) then joined at a later date, creating the lineup that would record the Impaled demo. Knupp left shortly after due to personal issues and was replaced by Ruben Rosas, creating the Molesting the Decapitated lineup. Shortly after the release of said album, however, Ruben Rosas was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years in prison (the core reason isn't known, but Majewski confirmed that the prison sentence was due to a probation violation), with Wynn also leaving as a result. The band soldiered on, welcoming back Henry and Knupp before releasing the 1.3.8. compilation.
After Rosas was released, the band went through multiple lineup shifts that ultimately resulted in failure and the band folding until 2005, when Rosas, Majewski, and Knupp decided to start over, with Eric Park (drums) completing the lineup. They quickly recorded and self-released Butcher the Weak later that year before inking a record deal with Brutal Bands the following year, subsequently re-recording and releasing Butcher on the label. Tragedy struck when Knupp died of multiple organ failure in 2007, but the band kept going, releasing Unleash the Carnivore in 2009 before signing with Relapse the following year. After several years of touring and other assorted odds and ends, they released Conceived in Sewage in February of 2013. Numerous personal troubles resulted in the band dropping off of a tour with Dying Fetus later that year and resulted in Rosas and Park leaving; nonetheless, Majewski stated that it was not over and that they were merely reassessing things. After rumors that they were going to reform with most of the Molesting lineup and play the Summer Slaughter started floating around in early 2014, the band finally announced on May 19, 2014 that they would be continuing on with Rosas on vocals, Andrews on guitar, and Fincher on drums, along with newcomer Dave Spencer (Fincher's bandmate in Meshiha) on bass. Various scattered shows have followed since then along with some vague talk of a new album, and as of 2016, Clark returned yet again to make it a two-guitar lineup before leaving again. After several years of scattered fests and tours and vague talk of a new album, they finally made it back into the studio around the very end of 2018, and Obscene Majesty was later announced for a mid-summer release.
- Impaled (1997) - demo
- Promo 1997
- Promo 1999
- Molesting the Decapitated (1999)
- 1.3.8. (2000) - compilation
- Kill That Fucking Bitch (2002) - single
- Official DVD (2005)
- United States of Goregrind (2005) - split
- Butcher the Weak (2005) - Re-recorded and rereleased in 2006 with alternate cover
- Limb Splitter (2006) - split
- Official DVD 2 (2007)
- Unleash the Carnivore (2009)
- Official DVD 2.5 (2010)
- Purulent Devourments & Cannibalism (2010) - split
- Conceived in Sewage (2013)
- Obscene Majesty (2019)
The band provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Alcoholic: Wayne Knupp. It's what killed him, too.
- Apocalypse Cult: "Xenoglossia", more specifically a suicide cult.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Chris Andrews to some degree, at least as far as his shtick of wearing a rubber horse mask live goes.
- Contemptible Cover: Molesting the Decapitated and Conceived in Sewage both qualify.
- Frankenstein's Monster/Flesh Golem: The end result of "Cognitive Sedation Butchery" courtesy of a Mad Scientist.
- Gorn: What else would you expect? Obscene Majesty goes back to this after spending two albums dealing with War is Hell, but toning down on the the Sexual violence.
- Harsh Vocals: Wayne Knupp pioneered guttural-style harsh vocals, with Rosas and Majewski later filling his shoes.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Have fun figuring them out without a lyric sheet. We'll wait.
- Laser-Guided Karma: "Truculent Antipathy" has the female victim, revealed to be a deadly serial killer, come back and give her male abusers a taste of his own medicine.
- Metal Band Mascot: The unnamed mutant is this according to Rosas, and the alien maggot thing is also accepted as one.
- Misogyny Song: This is slam. You kind of have to expect it. Significantly downplayed starting with Unleash, focusing on warfare, as well as some of the gorn lyrics being less sexual and more straight-up violent. According to Brad Fincher, they were attempting to be as dirty and filthy as possible both musically and lyrically on Molesting the Decapitated, which led to the band going out of their way to come up with the most vile lyrics that they could muster. He's totally aware of the implications of the lyrics (especially since he, Ruben Rosas, and Kevin Clark all have daughters) and has gone on record as being sick of misogyny in slam, and his current stance on his band's own lyrics seems to be something along the lines of "it was the best that we could do to accomplish our goals at the time". Obscene Majesty avoids this entirely save for one track that starts like one, but quickly flips it on its head.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Solid 11 for their entire career for the most part, though they can dip down to a hard 10.
- Mugging the Monster: "Truculent Antipathy", where the would-be rapist targets a Serial Killer who was waiting for someone like him to target her, and is then tortured to death for as long as possible by his would-be victim before she finally lights him on fire and then eats some of his burnt remains.
- Murder Ballad: This is basically what all of their lyrics boil down to.
- New Sound Album: Conceived in Sewage was a pretty major shift to a retro brutal death/proto-slam sound very reminiscent of Skinless and early Disgorge. Majewski stated that this was entirely because they didn't want to make the same album over and over, with Rosas also stating that they were getting sick of playing slam.
- Revisiting the Roots: Obscene Majesty is a return to the Molesting the Decapitated era stylistically with better production values, tighter and more technically advanced performances, some modern amenities (the use of eight-string guitars and bass drops) and a different lyrical approach (nixing the rampant Misogyny Songs of their earlier material); in short, it is Molesting if they had made it now instead of back in 1999.
- Revolving Door Band: An unusual case in that it was mostly the same few people coming and going over and over again.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "A Virulent Strain of Retaliation" is something of a deconstruction of this, as the protagonist is consumed by their sheer hatred for the other party and their obsessive thoughts about carrying out the most violent, gruesome, over-the-top revenge campaign possible, and while they are at least nominally aware of the certainty that it will end in moral perdition and/or their own death, they simply don't care.
- Slam Death Metal: Most definitely the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier for slam, but it is highly debatable whether they were the Ur-Example or not, as numerous bands were releasing slammy demos before them, and Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Skinless, Broken Hope, Internal Bleeding (who coined the term "slam" to refer to their style), Pyrexia, and Mortal Decay are all at least viewed as proto-slam.
- Special Guest: Majewski serves as this here and there, most notably with Benighted and Cattle Decapitation. Travis Ryan of the latter band returned the favor on Conceived in Sewage.
- Start My Own: Brian Wynn and Brad Fincher started Meshiha in 2009, though Wynn left that band as well in 2013. Majewski himself (along with Wynn and Kevin Clark) went on to start Kill Everything in 2016, which is largely in the same spirit as Meshiha, though he left that band in 2018, and Clark left the year before that and did not record anything aside from their first single.
- Trope Maker: For slam. While often treated as the Ur-Example, this is highly debatable due to there being multiple bands around that time releasing demos with similar sounds. Uncertainty notwithstanding, however, Devourment definitely served as the first prominent example of the sound.
- The Virus: "Profane Contagion".
- War is Hell: The lyrical themes of Unleash the Carnivore and Conceived in Sewage.