Metal Jewery

Existence of Hasidic Doom Metal Band Begs the Question: “Where are Their Peyot?”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Deveykus Band Photo

I know that there are Hasidic metal fans out there, because we’ve actually met a few of them.

But I did not know that there was a Hasidic doom metal band, until Heeb introduced me to Philadelphia’s Deveykus, who released their debut album, Pillar Without Mercy, on Tzadik Records earlier this summer. (In other news, there is apparently a Tzadik Records.) The band describes themselves thusly:

“DEVEYKUS is the newest of trombonist Dan Blacksberg’s re-imaginings of traditional Ashkenazic Jewish Music, and perhaps his most powerful to date. The mastermind behind Electric Simcha, a band that turbo-charged classic Hasidic melodies of celebration with the speed and sound of hardcore punk rock, Blacksberg delves into the spiritual side of Hasidic nigunim (wordless melodies) in order to draw out another new sound, this time inspired by Doom bands like Earth, and Sunn O))), from this well-worn tradition.

“In 2012, Blacksberg brought together 5 musicians whose work spans experimental rock, metal, and Jewish music to form the band that would execute this new sound, Deveykus. Meaning ‘To cleave’ to god and referring to both an ecstatic, trance-like state brought on by the singing of nigunim, and the name of the style of nign meant to bring on that state, Deveykus is a new band that brings the sounds of Jewish music fully into the world of experimental doom metal.”

Of course, any logical person, upon discovering Deveykus’ existence, will immediately have three questions:

  1. Where are their peyot?
  2. Do their beliefs really allow them to play doom metal?
  3. Is their music any good?

To answer the first question: I suspect that the three gentlemen pictured above in wool caps are concealing their peyot (that’s “curls” to you) under said caps, and I dunno what’s going on with those other two dudes.

To answer the second question: uh… I really don’t know, but I guess I don’t see why not? One Hasidic MetalSucks maniac told us that his family had adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with regards to his choice of music, so maybe this is a case of people looking the other way.

To answer the third question: well, I dunno if I like it or not, but it’s certainly interesting! (They apparently count Krallice’s Mick Barr amongst their fans, which certainly speaks well of them.) Honestly don’t know if I’d even really consider it metal. But if they started selling deluxe packages that came complete with yarmulkes like Rick Moranis has been doing, I would definitely purchase one.

Check out Deveykus for yourself in the below video… you can also stream another track here.

Thanks to the great Grim Kim for bringing this to our attention!

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