Get ready to jump into some solid, one-man tech death action, courtesy of Sun Eater, aka French musician Clément Dellis, who also plays bass for the slamming death band Embrace Your Punishment. This solo project draws from a similar skill set, and creates a promising sample of work that fans of Dellis’ other contributions are sure to appreciate. If you’re seeking a slim hit of death metal with level doses of clout and flair, then Light Devoured should tick all the boxes.
For the creation of this four-track EP, he has also brought some guests along for the ride. Light Devoured features Clément Henry of Deadwood, Charles Pierron of Ataraxis, and Kilian Savas of Untethered. These additions provide extra lead guitar work and some decidedly brutal vocals at various spots across the album, and it’s clear that Dellis has gathered a community of like-minded musicians who contribute to an overall fluid experience. The extra guitar sounds and voices, as and when they happen, give the EP an added level of gloss, which is welcoming to the ears.
From the opening track “The Advent”, we get treated to a slick blend of speedy licks and bone-crunching groove. Along with the rapid machine gun hits and well-placed blast beats, this is a precedent that spreads evenly across the whole EP. The various traits of tech death, each one vintage in its own right, are allowed their fair share of airtime, and are pasted together in a well-planned and finely balanced manner. Whether it’s the speedy barrage of “The Usurpator”, the wholesome technicality of “Quandary: Becoming The Eclipse”, or the sinister closure of title track “Light Devoured”, all the boxes in the genre are ticked, and expertly so.
At 14 minutes, this is about as lean a package as you can get, but it packs a lot of punch. Production, arrangement, and the adeptness of both will tell you with fair certainty, and at a very early stage, that in spite of its fleeting nature, a decent level of craft and precision has gone into the making of this record. Though it leans on progressiveness in one or two places, it largely remains a purist affair, and shows enough ingenuity in those tropes to give it a level of character capable of standing proudly alongside its peers… of which there are many.
Light Devoured is a wholly faithful and enjoyable disciple of the tech death teachings. Technical death metal is, of course, a well-populated area, where there is no margin for error and only those with the most honed skills of speed, composition, and precision can hope to gain a footing. Good job then that this project has all of that. If you have even the slightest leaning towards the genre, then you’ll most definitely be wowed at the flair, and sated at the heaviness. It might not be a game-changer, but it’s a fun, solid, and admirable portfolio that works its magic with the best of them.