Quite often, one encounters fine lines in the music world -- a fine line between heavy metal and hard rock, a fine line between Cajun and zydeco, a fine line between hard bop and post-bop, a fine line between alternative country and Americana, and, of course, that fine line between death metal and black metal. Death metal and black metal are not identical any more than hard bop and post-bop are identical; some bands are easy to describe as clearly death metal-oriented or clearly black metal-oriented, but there are also plenty of bands that blur the lines between the two -- which is exactly what Deviant does on their first album, Ravenous Deathworship. This 38-minute CD demonstrates why the term "extreme metal" is so convenient; that umbrella term is used to describe death metal and black metal as well as metalcore, and it is easy to tell that Deviant is firmly planted in extreme metal. But things get more complicated when one is asked exactly what part of extreme metal Ravenous Deathworship favors; there is no metalcore in Deviant's sound, but the Norwegian unit blends black metal and death metal elements in such a way that one has to conclude that they are both a death metal band and a black metal band. Deviant has black metal's blastbeats and ominous harmonies, but the sinister lead vocals of Dolgar (formerly of Gehenna and Forlorn) draw on both black metal's rasp and death metal's guttural growl -- and when it comes to death metal influences, Deviant is not oblivious to bands from outside Scandinavia. One hears some Slayer influence in their ferocious, cranium-crushing approach as well as some appreciation of the early American death metal bands that Scott Burns produced in Florida back in the late '80s and early '90s. Although not groundbreaking, Ravenous Deathworship is an enjoyable, above average contribution to the ultra-crowded extreme metal field.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson