Devil-M – Astharat Album Review

Today we are featuring another promising industrial metal band, DEVIL-M, from Germany. We have reviewed their latest album, ASTHARAT, along with its character, style, story, potential, and more.

Devil-M is a promising industrial metal band I discovered about a month ago with their exceptional latest album, Astharat, which was released in 2020. The band is actively making music since 2011. They have started their careers with a full-length album, Kannst Du Sterben in 2011, continued with four more full-length albums, Revenge of the Antichrist (2014), Hollow Earth (2017), Inauguration of the Inner Third (2018) and Astharat (2020), along with many single releases. Now, please give it a listen while reading the rest of the article.

Devil-M is one of those extraordinary bands who impressed me with everything about them, branding, music videos, press photos, band image, concept, art, album covers, music style, etc. When all these things come together, they create something massive, something awe-inspiring. I listened to their latest album Astharat a few times before writing my article as I always do, and I was simply blown away with it. Every single song is unique, yet they have a lot in common as well. As you might also remember from some of my previous articles, I am a guy who is into horror/thriller movies, video games, and whatever you can think of in this genre. Devil-M’s music and visuals made me think of them every time I listened to it. I closed my eyes and immediately started seeing scenes from epic movies like Alien & Predator, along with some other futuristic stuff such as I am Legend. I loved the power of this music, which immediately pulls you into its world. I believe it has the potential to become an epic movie or video game soundtrack.

The overall music style is carrying influences from Rammstein, Massive Attack, and of course, the pioneers of this music that I grew up listening with, The Prodigy. It doesn’t matter if you are a pop or a metal guy; almost everybody in this world respects these names because of their contribution to our world’s understanding of music. They opened a brand new way for people like Devil-M. When I look at everything that belongs to Devil-M, I can tell you that this is a work of passion. They put so much effort into every single detail about their brand, which is truly admirable. In my eyes, they already separated themselves from the rest of the world with what they have done so far. I honestly don’t care about their popularity or interest in their music somewhere. I have massive respect for everything they have done. They have the right kind of attitude and image of a real artist in my eyes, and I see them as a respected one.

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Technically, Astharat has exceptional standards in every way. Everything sounds very well handled, balanced, recorded, engineered, mixed, and mastered. As I said earlier, it is too good to resist; in other words, it is impossible not to channel to its dark world. The ambiance is constantly keeping the listeners’ attention alive, and you never feel bored or losing interest. The instrumentation is simple, but on point, most compositions focus on the main theme of the song. Everything was simply built for its listeners to have the best experience, which makes it much more than just making good music. On the other hand, their producer has done a phenomenal job. He understood the band, their desires, and potential; Astharat has a solid musical character.

When I take all these into account, I’d like to say that I am blown away by Devil-M. They are one of the very few bands whose music immediately took me away from this world that I honestly wasn’t expecting. Astharat is a masterpiece without an expiration date, which will make Devil-M and their families proud all their lives!

Please go ahead and check out the links below if you’d like to find out more about the artist/band, follow them on social media and subscribe to their channels to show your support and not miss any upcoming releases.

Devil-M – Astharat Album Review | Metalhead Community | Heavy Metal Blog | Metal Music Magazine
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In conclusion, Metalhead Community Team congratulates DEVIL-M for their exceptional job in ASTHARAT and wishes them the very best in their future careers. Don’t forget to check out our exclusive interview with DEVIL-M.

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Exclusive Band Interview

Devil-M – Astharat Album Review | Metalhead Community | Heavy Metal Blog | Metal Music Magazine

Q1- Tell us a bit about the band name, Devil-M. Where did it come from, what does it stands for?

The name came up when I was twelve and thought about making music. My mother was one of these religious ‘Karens’ and forced us to believe in god and stuff. So I noticed that there’s an opposite part like in every stiuation you are into, there’s the Devil. So I had the Devil and the Messiah. That’s it. The origin bandname is ‘Devil Messiah’ . But for unknown reasons I made it ‘Devil-M’ which I regret now but can’t re-re-name.

Q2- What can you tell us about Devil-M? What made you guys come together and start making music?

Devil-M was a solo project until 2014. Lots of noise-sampling, experimental and some soundtrack-elements. When the first gigs popped up, I needed live-musicians and we started writing some music together over the years. Members left, new member joined. And with every album the writing-process became more and more from a solo-project to a fully functional band.

Q3- Devil-M has a fascinating career/discography so far, managed to make five full-length album releases since 2011, which is incredible. What can you tell about these nine years? What’s musically changed since the first album? And where you guys see yourselves in your careers after all these years?

To be honest there are only three albums. The other two where somekind of demo tapes without any mixing/mastering and I’m happy with it, because they are more into Darkwave and Experimental. It was a whole concept called ‘the Suicidal’ with ‘Willst Du sterben’ (EP) ‘Kannst Du sterben’ (full-length) and ‘606’ (full-length). The last has been deleted on all platforms by me because of the horrible sound.

The heavy sound came with the necessary bandmembers during 2014. Marilyn Manson was a big influence for our very first album ‘Revenge of the Antichrist’ but so was David Bowie and Lars von Trier. In 2017 we mixed that sound with TOOL and made ‘Hollow Earth’. In 2020 we left TOOL out and put Nine Inch Nail’s ‘the Fragile’ in. In 2023 we may mix Behemoth and 3Teeth.

Q4- How did you come up with electronic and metal elements in music? Is it what you were planning from the beginning, or is it about the spirit/trend of our era?

It was a complicated and surreal process…I got piano-lessons until I was 12 years old, some years later my dad noticed that I loved playing an instrument but I think he couldn’t afford any instrument because of the divorce. So he woke me up in the middle of the night when I was 14 or 15 and showed me a program called “eJay music”. A very simple music-program with tons of Drum’n’Bass samples.

A year later I got my first computer and bought my first guitar. Another year later I got the Roland D-50 and Roland U-20, they brought me sleepless nights because of the horrible step-sequencer-settings but I loved it. And after that, there was a e-drum-set that I tried to use as a midi-control for the D-50 which worked and to make it sound bad ass, I connected the output of the D-50 with a distortion-pedal. This was the moment I noticed that I loved rythmic noise.

Q5- What can you tell us about your latest release, “Astharat.” How did you come up with this title? Does it have a story?

Our first LP was about a guy called Astharat. He’s shizophrenic and noticed that everyone around him didn’t exist, so he got mad and tried to kill himself. Now we asked us how such a person feels and what’s in his mind. It’s pure chaos, lots of anger & self-hate but in the end you just hope it ends sometime. It doesn’t. It never ends. You are on repeat and can’t break out from your inner demons.

Devil-M – Astharat Album Review | Metalhead Community | Heavy Metal Blog | Metal Music Magazine

Q6- How is the feedback so far?

It’s positive. I think it’s because people just listened instead of playing their favourite tracks, they listened in full and maybe that’s why the story got some attention. ‘Revenge’ didn’t get this chance, it was our very first recording pressed on a CD, almost everyone just picked some tracks and liked it but the major story never had a chance at all and that’s what gave me the energy to rewind the story and drill everything out of it.

Q7- How was the recording process? Where did you record the album? What were the most challenging factors?

We kicked out our long-time drummer for private reasons and had these hole to fill. We were a family and a family-member just had to go. It almost broke us, so we met each other in Switzerland and started the writing-process. It’s always the music that comes first, mostly I make some noise-samples, put on a drumset I’m recording in my basement and create some synth-hooks. The guitar and Bass comes from Rotny and Void. One day Void showed me some piano notes and a TOOL-like guitar-recording that was an absolute fantastic ending for the album. We named it ‘Addendum’ and it was our relief from the crisis we had.

Q8- In an era of singles, Devil-M continues its career with gigantic full-length albums. Was this intentional/strategic? Is there a big difference between releasing a Single or a Long Play album, in your opinion?

Singles are a good option to push a new Album but it’s all combined with marketing costs. We are not that great to release singles and instead of that we try to release full Remix Albums like in the good old 90’s .

Q9- What Devil-M was planning to achieve with the release of Astharat? Do you consider it a success? And what is your next checkpoint as a band?

For me personally it was a huge success! Usually the reviews are all the same like ‘great/bad sound…that song is cool…this is a cool artwork…’ and so on. But we created an album that you had to listen to completely. It was one whole track. And the reviews where either ‘awesome, 10/10!!!’ or ‘yeah…no, I don’t get it. 3/10!’ . This was the only way to get reviews for ‘Astharat’ and it was the first time in all the years that I had the feeling the people listened to it. So yes, I totally consider that as a success and I’m proud of my 3 points like I’m proud of my 10 points.

Q10 – Can we say Astharat represents the Ultimate Devil-M style? What can you tell us about the band’s musical direction?

That’s correct. The first Album was very rough and had some sort of Soundtrack-element-try-outs. The second was mostly focused at deeper meanings. Now with ‘Astharat’ I think we found a great compromise, there are about 40-50 minutes of B-Sides for this Album but to keep that one-whole-track-thing we had to kick nearly the half of the written material and we will release a new album again in 2-3 years but I can’t promise anything. But the style will be similar, maybe more complex.

Devil-M – Astharat Album Review | Metalhead Community | Heavy Metal Blog | Metal Music Magazine

Q11- Also, I would like to ask you about Devil-M’s artworks. You have some dark and magnificent looking album arts. What influences or gravitates you to these images? What connection do you see between the imagery and the music of Devil-M?

I do all the artworks and always try to avoid eyes to make it more ‘untouchable’, you know? And all three albums may look like it was photoshopped but they are all real requisites. ‘Revenge’ had an old picture of me with a cropped ram-skull. ‘Hollow Earth’ was a sculpture made in England – it was one of my favourite covers ever made, because it looks painted but it isn’t. It’s a real sculpture with a overlayered picture of a rusty wall and a specific red-colored layer. ‘Astharat’ is an embryo within a skull, almost noone noticed – even my bandmates. I love it when people find out all the easter-eggs and hidden secrets. The Vinyl version of ‘Hollow Earth’ contains a Download-Link to a Live-Album printed in the inside of the cover. You have to rip it of to see the link. If someone finds out the link and opens it, I get an e-mail. I never got any notification so far. So, yeah, this is the first time I speak about it.

Q12- What can you tell us about the band’s short- and long-term plans for the future?

Playing in the USA. 2020 was our third try and we almost had it! The fact is, every week someone asks us about it, people want to see us there. But the promoters and venue-owners can’t just believe in people’s demands. So we are forced to manage and pay everything by ourselves. It’s a short- AND long-term plan for us.

Q13 – What makes a band “Great” in your opinions?

Tough question…there isn’t a plan, I guess. A band is always great until they make too much albums over the years or sell-out.

Q14 – Top 5 albums that influenced Devil-M’s music?

1 – Skindive – Skindive
2 – Marilyn Manson – Antichrist Superstar
3 – Pink Floyd – the Wall
4 – Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
5 – Dumper – Dumper

Some are obvious, some are unknown.

Q15 – Lastly, what would you like to say to our readers?

As long as you still prefer a beer over a political statement, everything is fine. Keep that in mind for the upcoming elections.

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