Devil-M - Astharat - Album Review & Band Interview - Industrial Gothic Metal from Bremen, Germany

Devil-M - Astharat - Album Review & Band Interview - Industrial Gothic Metal from Bremen, Germany
Devil-M - Astharat - Album Review & Band Interview - Industrial Gothic Metal from Bremen, Germany

Today, we delve into the world of promising industrial gothic metal band Devil-M hailing from Bremen, Germany. In this review, we explore their latest album Astharat, examining its character, style, story, and potential. Additionally, don't miss our exclusive interview with the band following the review.

Devil-M first caught my attention approximately a month ago with their exceptional latest album, Astharat, released in 2020. Since their inception in 2011, the band has been consistently creating music that resonates with industrial metal enthusiasts. Their discography includes notable releases such as Kannst Du Sterben (2011), Revenge of the Antichrist (2014), Hollow Earth (2017), Inauguration of the Inner Third (2018), and their latest offering, Astharat (2020). I invite you to experience their music as we explore the depths of this album.

Devil-M is an extraordinary band that leaves a lasting impression in every aspect. From their branding and music videos to their press photos, concept, art, and album covers, every element comes together to create something truly awe-inspiring. Upon listening to Astharat multiple times before penning this article, I was simply blown away. Each song stands out as a unique creation, while maintaining a cohesive thread that runs through the album. As a fan of horror and thriller movies and video games, Devil-M's music and visuals evoked vivid imagery with every listen. I closed my eyes and found myself immersed in scenes reminiscent of epic movies like Alien vs. Predator, as well as futuristic worlds portrayed in I Am Legend. The power of their music instantly transports you into their captivating realm, evoking the sensation of a potential epic movie or video game soundtrack.

Drawing influences from revered names such as Rammstein, Massive Attack, and The Prodigy, Devil-M incorporates their unique blend into their music. Regardless of whether you lean towards pop or metal, these names command respect for their significant contributions to the understanding of music. They paved the way for bands like Devil-M to carve their own path. Looking at Devil-M's body of work, it is clear that they pour their hearts and souls into every detail of their brand, a testament to their unwavering dedication. In my eyes, they have already established themselves as an outstanding force, earning my immense respect. They embody the essence of a true artist, and I regard them with the utmost admiration.

Technically, Astharat meets exceptional standards in every aspect. The sound is expertly handled, balanced, recorded, engineered, mixed, and mastered. As I previously mentioned, it is impossible to resist the allure of this album, drawing listeners into its dark and captivating world. The ambiance sustains attention, ensuring engagement throughout the journey, leaving no room for boredom or waning interest. The instrumentation, while simple, remains precise, with compositions skillfully focused on the core themes of each song. Astharat is meticulously crafted to provide listeners with the ultimate experience, transcending mere music. Credit must be given to the producer for flawlessly capturing the band's desires and potential, resulting in an album that exudes a solid musical character.

Considering all these factors, I am impressed by Devil-M. Their music has transported me beyond the confines of this world, exceeding my expectations. Astharat stands as a timeless masterpiece that will continue to make Devil-M and their families proud throughout their lives.

Please explore the links below to discover more about Devil-M. Follow them on social media, subscribe to their channels, and show your support to ensure you don't miss any upcoming releases.

In conclusion, the Metalhead Community Team extends heartfelt congratulations to Devil-M for their work on Astharat and wishes them the very best in their future endeavors. Don't forget to check out our exclusive interview with Devil-M.

Exclusive Band Interview

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.

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 ', 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.

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.

DEVIL-M on the WEB

Official Website

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