This is the Finns debut release and let me tell you right now, it sounds nothing like AMORPHIS, NIGHTWISH or even CHILDREN OF BODOM. The bands influences are more American as you will hear a FEAR FACTORY vibe as well as Canada's SYL. 'I Am God' is catchy, brutal and on target. It has groove and it has power from hell. There are some electronic vibes going on, but don't let that fool you as the drums pound away and the guitar licks are harsh and venomous. The vokills come off a little like Peter Tagtgren, but that should only be a good thing as Peter has taken the Industrial Metal/Death Metal to new heights. Fuck! You thought track one had balls, 'Struggling From Chokehold' takes the bands sound one step further into the depths of hell. The vibe is dark and sinister and the drumming is simply hellish! Blast beats come and go, but stick with you long after the track is finished. Sheer brutality blended with more electronic vibes makes this track nothing short of evil and sinful. As each track progresses, the drumming becomes more technical and maniacal like old FEAR FACTORY, but better. Things slow down drastically with 'Production Freak'. While the drumming is more sluggish and the guitar work isn't as frantic, don't count this song out as being wimpy because the vokills still reek of aggression and the mood of the song is just as dark and sinister as the previous. 'Prepare To Die' contains a little bit of everything. There are plenty of groovy beats, electronics, crushing guitar riffs that drive the song home, more harsh vokills and a beat that you can shake your body to. This one has it all and it's still heavy as fuck! Even though FEAR FACTORY may have come back onto the Industrial Metal scene, I think it may be too late for them as bands like TOTAL DEVASTATION, RAUCHY and MNEMIC are the new breed and they now have what it takes to kick FF out of their very own game that they created and mastered.
Roadmap of Pain
Vampire Magazine Total Devastation is a Finnish band that started out in 1998. Up to date they've recorded five demo's of which the last one lead to a record deal with Finnish Firebox Records. Total Devastation isn't your average band. They themselves classify their music as modern death metal, but when I think of modern death metal I think of bands that play in the brutal genre in the likes of Dying Fetus, Imperious, Severe Torture and more of these bands, if you catch my drift. "So Total Devastation is outdated or old-fashioned then?" Not at all! It's just that I find their music to be more than just death metal alone, though this is the red line throughout their "Roadmap To Pain" album. Total Devastation plays all machines extreme music towards the metallic sound reality. Heheh, dude! I can see you thinkin' now! I'll translate for ya: Total Devastation plays death metal that is heavily influenced by electronic and industrialised music with touches of nu-metal/core but with a definite (brutal) death metal basis. If you would follow my brain and think towards a combination of Fear Factory, Ministry, Rammstein, Pungent Stench and Morbid Angel and top this with lots of own input, I think you've got a (good) idea in which direction you must think, though just mentioning one of the before-mentioned bands would be a bad resemblance, as they don't sound like just one band, as a sort of copycat. Total Devastation's music is very varied. The songs can contain brutal blasting parts, as well as more groovy nu-metal parts, hypnotising industrialised midpace marching and also more dark and (more) tranquil sequenced/sampled parts, slow headbang moments, heavy dragging Bolt Thrower-like paces, all foreseen of a dark an almost inhuman sphere, definitely contributing to the force and atmosphere that this band wants to bring forth. All of these elements are rolled into solid tracks that define total Devastation's power. Though the electronica isn't always present as the most important 'instrument' in Total Devastation's music, it does play an imminent important role, may it be in the spotlight or as subtle guidance. The ten tracks on this album are completed by sick, heavy and screaming vocals, a tight-as-a-virgin sound and a killer production. If you'd ask me I would confirm that this band managed to surprise me in a positive way, though I did need some time to get into the music, but once I did it grew more and more on me. You'll keep on discovering more cool and interesting things in their music, plus after one time of listening there are already certain parts stuck in your head, trust me... Modern death metal for sure (see the irony?) but more than just that and you should just check this out if you're curious or just into cool and (somewhat) renewing music! - Danny
Metalhel After several highly acclaimed demos Finnish Total Devastation has released their first full-length. This six-piece has many gigs and years of training behind them and in the light of these facts they are more than ready to make their debut. But what kind of material Roadmap of Pain has? Well, many kinds. Although the band's goal is to make very crushing and blasting stuff, there are lots of variation in these ten songs: modern metal stomping like Diablo, Death Metal, blastbeats and Neurosis-like doomy soundscapes, to name a few. And all this is covered with synths and samples, greeting from Apocalypse. I think that different people will like different elements in Roadmap of Pain and in my ears Total Devastation was at its best when delivering slow and desperate funeral marches like Production Peak which reminded me about Red Harvest. Also some rock'n'rolling songs - for example Left Hand of the Devil - were good, but too fast and grinding songs I found too "trendy": in my dictionary 'fast' stands for 'brutal' quite rarely. But Roadmap of Pain is not a bad debut, far from it. It has balls (especially Jaakko Heinonen's vocals prove that!), groove and nice tricks like an acoustic/violin start of Prepare to Die and that's why all friends of industrial-laden Death Metal should check this album. But before their next album Total Devastation should focus their attack more tighter. Now the pack is too wide. - Klemi
Tartarean Desire Total Devastation is a Finnish band that has been around since the summer of 1998. In the early days the band existed as a three-piece but today they are no less than six members, three of which are brothers (!). According to the band this album is a result of frustrations and injustices of the modern society. Oh, my, do I sense leftist people in the extreme music business? No more talk about politics, in fact I couldn't possibly care less about their political opinions. "Roadmap Of Pain" is the debut album from this young band and with the support of the label and a professional studio they have managed to produce a quality release, at least soundwise. The music is very aggressive with harsh hardcore-ish death metal vocals and it also sounds modern and mechanical (if modern and mechanical must come hand in hand...). It is this industrial or mechanical touch that is the biggest problem with this disc. Even though these guys know their instruments pretty well the music comes off as rather monotonous and it feels as if there is a not a whole lot of things going on. It is not bad but it gets a little boring and grey in the end. Don't get me wrong, grey is a color that needs no word assault but my final judgment on this album is decent, nothing more, nothing less. It is heavy though and that I like. If mechanical death metal sounds interesting to you then maybe they are worth the money, if not you might be intrigued by the fact that Tapio Wilska from Moonsorrow makes a guest speech on one of the tracks. If neither of it, just forget about Total Devastation for now. Recommended to try out if you enjoy Fear Factory, Static-X or aggressive death metal in general though. - Vincent Eldefors
Lords of Metal ‘Roadmap Of Pain’ has nothing to do with a new plan for the situation in the Middle East, but is the title of the debut album of the Finnish Total Devastation. And the verdict on that debut can be short: rock steady and good. ‘Just keep on trying and it will happen’, must have been the credo of the gents of Total Devastation, because they produced no less than five demos over the last couple of years. The last one, ‘Left Hand Of The Devil’ (2002), caught the attention of the Finnish label Firebox Records, which offered them a record deal. The result of that is ‘Roadmap Of Pain’. The bigger part of the ten tracks on the album can be filed under aggressive and modern death metal with a dash of thrash metal (i.e. in ‘Fragments’). Harsh pounding guitar riffs, low and groaning grunts en rugged drums are the ammunition the band uses with skill and talent to bomb the listener. But that doesn’t make them stand out of the big, big crowd of other bands in the genre. But this isn’t the full story. As the CD goes on the five Fins show that they not only are familiar with all the known musical back roads, but also are also willing to take a chance in the rough by implementing other metal influences and accents. And they pull it off, without ever loosing side of the death metal core of their sound. An example of this is the melodic en dark ‘Production Peak’ that has a traditional heavy metal feel to it due to the use of a clean guitar sound and the prominent use of keyboards. The rallying ‘Left Hand Of The Devil’ with its industrial flavour (again due to the use of keyboards) hits also bulls eye. But the finest example and undoubtedly best track on the album is ‘Prepare To Die’. With an up tempo guitar line and violins (creating a Apocalyptica-like atmosphere) this song starts off somewhat tranquil but don’t be fooled. As soon as the rest of the band kicks in, a wall-to-wall sound fills the room. It is as if the band unloads all its vengeance in this one song. And I have to say, if this track is an omen of what the future holds, these guys can go far. In conclusion: with their debut ‘Roadmap To Pain’ Total Devastation brings us an album that consists of well executed, but not earth shattering tracks, but at the same time holds enough promises of a future in which the band stands out of the crowd. A roadmap to succes! - Frank