|Review: The Devil - The Devil|
Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: April 3, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
The Devil's self-titled debut is undoubtedly the most unique thing I've heard in years. On the surface, this band from the United Kingdom is going to draw comparisons with Sweden's Ghost. Both bands feature anonymous musicians who cover their faces with masks. The similarities end right there, however. While Ghost has a melodic, almost commercial, Traditional/NWOBHM sound, The Devil play a much more Epic/Doom style of Heavy Metal. Big riffs share time equally with somber, mournful keyboards reminding me at times of While Heaven Wept and The 11th Hour. Where The Devil really separate themselves from the myriad of other bands is the vocals. The Devil is, technically, an instrumental album since the band has no vocalist. What they've done instead is take recordings of prominent historical figures and news reports of notorious events and combined them with their music. Think about the 30 seconds or so of Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" where the narrator is reading the actual lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem and how powerful that is, then multiply it by an entire album. Whether it is John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower talking about the dangers of an expanding military/industrial complex ("Devil and Mankind"), Mahatma Ghandi's dissertation on self-rule ("Akashic Enlightenment") or Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, The Devil set the mood perfectly. I have heard most of these words before but on The Devil I feel like I'm listening to them. The Devil also touches on subjects like aliens, the detonation of the first atomic bomb and 9/11. The music is heavy and beautifully melodic at the same time, regardless of the subject matter.
This is the type of thing bands have done many times before, but never for an entire album. If it weren't for The Devil's skill at creating musical moods that are in sync with the tenor of the subject matter they are playing to, it could easily have failed. I find The Devil to be fascinating and original, two things I rarely hear these days. I have no clue what the band will do for a follow up but until that time, I am going to revel in the profound words and majestic music of The Devil. You should, too.
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