Servi Diaboli

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Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
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Servi Diaboli are the most productive outfit by Brazilian musician Armando Luiz (actually he used to live in Spain for a period, and currently he resides in Norway, but he was born in Minas Gerais; but that’s of no importance). He’s also active under the monikers Nihil, Obitus Vitae and Sort Himmel; Cold Raw Records recently released the untitled demo for this project, and in case you’re interested you can read the (superior) review on that (superior) demonstrational recording on the update of December 24th 2015 (why shouldn’t you anyway?).

Armando did record, produce, mix and master the new Servi Diaboli-album Wrath at his Scaevus Studio, and it comes in an edition of 66 (sixty six) copies only. And since I got one, there’s one less left for you (but I am not sorry for you…). Wrath has a total running time of almost forty minutes and it sounds as if it was done by a Norwegian act. Okay, the guy lives out there, yet still his roots dwell in an exotic place…

Seriously, the whole album reeks of the Norwegian (Second Wave) supremacy (and more general: the whole Scandinavian glory – though there are elements and angles from all over Mater Terra, so let’s conclude with ‘universal’???) from the Nineties and 2000’s. That means: no invention, no originality, yet also: no remorse, no tolerance, no mercy! It comes with everything this stuff needs: lots of variation in tempo, icy screams, a timeless but mostly grim and raw sound, but also a (great) equilibrium in between primal aggression and crafted, even epic melodies, a heavy and strongly supportive rhythm section, and a mostly professional execution above all. Indeed, despite the non-originality, undersigned is extremely pleased by the well-written compositions and great performance. Quite fine, in addition, are the several hints of Teutonic Thrash malignancy. Especially within some riffs and the solos, that specific form of morbid and speed-up attitude comes to mind. And with a piece like The First Night Of A Vampire, there’s even some modest progressive experimentation.

I did mention a ‘timeless but mostly grim and raw sound’, but that’s detracts the quality. Actually, the sonic result is better than many other acts from Norway itself. The mix has been done very fine-tuned, with a nice balance for all instrumental elements. The bass parts, for example, are clearly ‘present’. And still it lacks of any over-production for sure, for the result maintains a rough-edged identity.

Note: the score is like I feel how it must be. I know it lacks of originality, and lately we are sort of getting overpowered by same-minded bands and projects. But imagine, if this album was recorded and released three decades ago, it would be Kult. It’s not because it’s ‘new’ that it won’t be of interest anymore. So tell me, why should I ignore the craftsmanship in song-writing and performance, in sound and atmosphere? Indeed, there is no need to ignore this effort (amongst several equally-minded ones). It’s not a cheap copycat result, so therefore my (strongly subjective) score! But one remark too: the lack of variation. To my concern, the riffs are sometimes too ‘alike’, and it might give a feeling à la ‘hey, didn’t I listen to that riff before?’. Does it bother? Not really, but it’s the truth (my truth), which I just have to mention as an honest and professional (and pretty, intelligent, virile and prominent) reviewer…