Everything is perfect about this album, and that is really what makes Dark Devotion the best black metal album in existence. The feeling of sickening raw despair you get from listening to this album is simply beyond words.
Dark Devotion pushes black metal toward its limits. It raises black metal up to its most grim elements (atmosphere and viciousness) and then bombards the listener with absolute satanic depravity for the entire album. Typically, these sorts of "pushing the genre to its extreme" albums have, despite a relatively enjoyable novelty, very little substance. It's the sheer quality of the compositions makes Dark Devotion such a phenomenal work that every metal fan should possess.
Dark Devotion is certainly an extremely evil gem. I don't know if it can be called black metal, as it seems to transcend the limitations of the black metal genre, but it sure possesses the demonic atmosphere that black metal seeks (and mostly fails) to emulate.
Dark Devotion is best listened to in bright sunlight, at mid-day. Do NOT feel tempted to listen to this record at night, to prove how "true" your are or otherwise.
Nothing breaks the immersion like having to change yourself because you just shit your pants when you heard Phantom's evil atmospheres.
Dark Devotion is one cruel masterpiece of an album.