Thursday, December 15, 2011

Devil Sold His Soul - 'Blessed & Cursed'

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Oh My... OK. Let me preface this review by telling you I just recently discovered this band from the U.K. and as strange as it feels to be saying this, I am not minding these clean, sing-songy, pretty boy vocals that pop up from time to time amidst the grinding, dirging assault. Well, maybe pretty boy is pushing it. As far as clean vocals go, these guys have managed to retain enough grit that it doesn't fall into that trap of sounding like Underoath or Blessthefall or some fake Metal bullshit like that. It almost feels like those cleaner vocals are adding to the overall atmosphere of the compositions, not detracting.  Which is not something I ever thought I would find myself saying. I know... Plenty of Post-Whatever bands incorporate clean vocals in their songs. Even the traditional screamy Emo bands used a lot of melodic vocal parts to help build a feeling or mood. I am just having a hard time dealing with the glut of overproduced crap that gets passed off as Post-Hardcore or Post-Metal these days.  This band certainly gets lumped in with all these new/newish Post-Metal bands like Cult of Luna, the Ocean and Mouth of the Architect.  And while I can certainly hear and understand those types of comparisons, there is just something about those vocals that sets them apart.  Aside from the random clean parts popping up from time to time, there is this gruff, throat shredding shrieking that really brings to mind more Screamo oriented bands like Celeste, Mihai Edrisch or Madame De Montespan.  Three of my FAVORITE bands of all time!  I guess Devil Sold His Soul is huge, seeing as they have landed on Century Media. A label that seems to wallow in the shitty and could certainly use some new luck to pull them out of their quagmire of signing some of the most astonishingly awful bands in the history of Metal. Anyway, I think I can safely say, if you enjoy lulling atmospherics that lead seamlessly into raging, chaotic screaming Hardcore, you could do far worse. I also recommend checking out their earlier releases. It is quite interesting to see how this band progressed. I would also like to note that they are one band that most certainly benefited from added production.  I believe there were certain elements they were trying to address and nurture in their earlier works that just didn't translate well with the limited production.  These new songs are so lush and full of life. It is a very organic listening experience. And for that I am appreciative. Even with those pretty boy vocals.

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