Review: Elder Devil ‘Fragments Of Hell’ EP

Hear Ye, Hear Ye – o pilgrims of The Sleeping Shaman … California grindcore act Elder Devil has set loose upon this world their new EP Fragments Of Hell, stalking 2019s full-length debut offering The Light Dimmed Eternal and their first EP Graves Among The Roots released through Medusa Crush in 2017. Elder Devil originally formed as a DIY studio project between Jacob Lee (Hellish Form, PlasticBag FaceMask) and Stephen Muir (Cabin Fire) in the fall of 2016. Shortly after, Elder Devil added kindred souls with Ryan Urquidez (dontcryformeimalreadydead, Cabin Fire) on bass and Pete Ruacho (Amenthes, Fatal Rebirth) on drums and began playing shows as a full band. On Fragments Of Hell the band roars to new heights in their *unrelenting onslaught* of fury and precise execution, complimenting their finely tuned songwriting.

Elder Devil ‘Fragments Of Hell’ EP

Motherless Son blast beats my balls black’n’blue and makes me wish that I hadn’t drawn the short straw for the review pile this month. I fancied the lads more of a tar-bound band from the Sludgelord Records association, but this ain’t your mutha sludge Melvins act … grind is the name and crushing your head is the game, sucka. Trapped Animal is similarly awe inspiring, like watching the jaws of life pry open the wreckage of a train that derailed and hit a school bus. Gawd, did I just write that? This music really does affect you.

Black Hole doesn’t have anything to do with dark skinned hoes or even sci-fi, naw – this is all skin peeling flamethrower rhythms and napalm guitar that couldn’t care less to throw down a lead lick here or there, instead settling for a pinch harmonic floating like a cherry on top of milk shake, thick chunka-lunka palm chugs that steal your breath before demon single note geetar lines cobra wrap you up in a county coroner plastic bag, ready for your toe tag. Bones Under Feet … bugger all, these guys do not yield one inch on this music; it is indomitably ferocious and will alter the time space continuum while you listen. Loathsome Insect continues with the amazing cardiac episode drum assault invoked by Pete Ruacho … listen to Fragments Of Hell just to be assailed by his drum violation.

like watching the jaws of life pry open the wreckage of a train that derailed and hit a school bus…

The song lyrics on Fragments Of Hell are quite accessible with a right proud mix on the vocals and I totally dig the lyrical pacing relative to the music; the band is playing waaay off the hook while the vocals provide a center to cling to, much like a tornado’s eye or in the same vein, seeing Slayer with Tom Araya’s wailing chants being an invocation to come close – but not too close – and become transcended. I must confess that I just couldn’t bear further lyrical introspection… Elder Devil sufficiently scorches your weasel soul to a crisp and does this in under fourteen minutes of time-bending musical brutality.

Keep this in mind for any pain in the ass neighbors that insist on DJ duty at unruly hours of the day or night – Fragments Of Hell is like antipersonnel audio mace. While the grindcore genre is not my cup of Earl Grey, I would fancy stepping inside the Elder Devil electric coffee grinder at a live show as it were, and get my neurons pulverized. Like any old knuckle dragging ‘baller in the rock brigade, I ain’t got much neurons left to maltreat… and so it is my Brothers and Sisters.

Label: PlasticSkull Records | Sludgelord Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Dani Bandolier