Unless you are a stranger to CVLT Nation, you are not a stranger to the bestial death metal war machine that is London, England’s QRIXKUOR! Since the release of their infamous Consecration of the Temple demo in 2014, the band has bolstered a well-deserved and loyal following… and if you’ve been following our site closely, you will know that since this most recent walpurgisnacht, their appropriately-named third offering, Three Devils Dance, has been offered unto the public. On this record, BLASPHEMY, DEMONCY, and WEREGOAT enthusiasts will find plenty of sinew in which to sink their teeth, but Qrixkuor’s approach overpowers the typical constraints set upon this style of music, and as a result they may find themselves with several converts from doom metal and atmospheric black metal camps as well, to name just two… Prepare for battle and venture into our full review below!
Many have already hailed Three Devils Dance as one of the best releases of the year in its genre, and rightfully so – Qrixkuor have mastered the now-classic war metal combination of sputtering guitar tone, breakneck tremolo-picking riffs, inhumanly deep vocals, and frantic, sonically enveloping percussion. This style is almost known for its impenetrability, since melody and nuance become barely audible underneath lo-fi, bass heavy production, and one would think that Qrixkuor’s long-form songwriting might augment this trait… but despite the trademark bestial sound and the fact that two of the three songs on Devils exceed fourteen minutes in length, this band is actually easier to listen to than many of their in-genre comrades. Qrixkuor’s unconventional songwriting style not only keeps their tracks dynamic – brief solos, unexpected stops, and skillful transitions provide respite amid the confusion – but it also seems a more intentional and continuously punishing approach than the unclear breaks between tracks often heard on underground death metal albums.
Three Devils Dance provides little change of pace from the band’s previous two releases, rather, it seems to be a perfection of their chosen form. Both the 2015 rehearsal demo and Consecration of the Temple bear Qrixkuor’s signature atmospheric passages and their skillful, multifaceted slow sections that swarm with guitar harmonies, and these elements present themselves in their most theatrical and effective manifestations yet on …Devils…. The ominous symphonic sections that open and close the record are incredibly well-orchestrated, creating a tense, dreary atmosphere for the songs to nest within, and serving only to amplify how skillful this band’s songwriting really is – for every complex and deeply layered blast-beat frenzy, there’s a straightforward head banging riff that eliminates any chance of a listener losing interest midway through a track. In a way, it’s hard to resist moving to Three Devils Dance, since Qrixkuor actually give us chances to hang on to every track’s key riffs, and always making sure that something different is going on minute-to-minute… it’s an infectious formula, and one that leaves us something new to discover each time we listen. The band has proven themselves to be a ferocious, many-headed beast, and has given us an experience of an album that never falters in its malevolent advance. If you’re searching for a death metal record that’s as savage and flesh-eating as it is fulfilling and invigorating, then look no further.