Back in 2019, our chief-editor reviewed Daeva’s first EP, and although he appreciated the offering, it wasn’t all too special for him. Now, a few years ahead and with a new album under their belts, the American Black/Thrashers give it another shot. But, first things first. That artwork with snakes, dragons, skulls, demons and a volcano is just fucking awesome, it breathes a bit of those wicked and evil Hieronymus Bosch paintings and comes close to those awesome old Cathedral covers. If the artwork is the prelude to the album, I’m fine.
But, to start off with a conclusion, the thing with this album is that while I was quite enthusiastic at its first play, it increasingly wore down with each listen. In fact, it already started during the second part of the first visit. On paper it all works pretty well, just throw in all kinds of Fist and Second Wave Black Metal, mix it up with some classic Thrash Metal influences and there you go. But, Daeva proves that a musical product is not only a simple sum of its individual parts. It is clear that the band has drawn their influences from bands like Absu, Nifelheim, Desaster, Venom, Aura Noir, Ancient and Deströyer 666, but though the result kind of sounds like it too, it lacks something. That little ‘something’ is authenticity, it all sounds way too neat and above all it sounds staged. All of the aforementioned bands had something unique in their own perspectives, had a place in metal’s history and most of all they sounded pure and spontaneous.
The guys in Daeva are no newbies and gained some experience in such bands as Vektor, Horrendous and Crypt Sermon, instead of giving them (extra) credits, it is more of a answer to this puzzle. Basically all of the bandmember’s other past and present bands have more or less the same problem: sounding too sterile and too unnatural. While Horrendous’ first demo can be seen as some of the best Death Metal demos of the new(er) generation, it all went downward from there, sounding all too polished and every raw piece of energy has been peeled off or simply got pushed away in its production. Same goes for Crypt Sermon; Epic Doom Metal should be evoking a majestic feel of pure and authentic emotions, none of that happens with Crypt Sermon because of the very same reasons.
So, although both the artwork and title promises an intriguing ride, Daeva is simply not up for the task. Few memorable riffs or catchy hooks in combination with the soulless clear and clean production actually make this album a very unedifying experience. In fact, I come to the same conclusion as can be read back in the review of the bands’ previous EP, only I conclude less hopeful than Chief Editor Ricardo did. Looking at the band’s minimal musical history and individual band members, I don’t think the band is capable of coming up with anything good in this style, even on a subsequent album.