Saturday, 5 January 2019

DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL

BandDEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Black Metal / Alternative / Ambient / Experimental
Related artistsMahumodo, Carnist, Hope & State, March Of The Raptors, Morrow, Symmetry, Viatrophy*Shels, The Arusha Accord, Tortuga and Rinoa.
CountryLondon U.K.
Years Active2004-present
Song: "Crusader"
Album: "Empire of Light"
Year: 2012
For fans ofMoving Mountains, Mahumodo, Rinoa, Hopesfall, Deftones, Young Mountain, Glassjaw, Incubus, Nic (aka ██████), Endor, New Ruins, Inkling, Codeseven, In Reverent Fear, Saosin, Thrice, Protest The Hero, Linkin' Park, We Never Learned To Live, Beloved and Deafheaven.
Label(s): Self Released / Visible Noise / Eyesofsound / Black Willow / Holy Roar Records / Century Media / Small Town Records / Basick Records
This post's artist is from the December 2018 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download: the December 2018 Mix#12 right here or get the new January 2019 Mix#12 here.

Do you like cheese? I can handle cheese, but not too much cheese. My dad likes blue cheese. That's too much fucking cheese, man. DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL is kinda like extra extra old white cheddar cheese, and it's starting to smell but it still tastes fucking awesome. But I gotta say, not a fan of the band name.

I first found out about the band through Mahumodo and Rinoa, both bands that members spent time in previously. They play an epic style of metalcore, black metal and post-hardcore/post-rock. Sometimes they devastate the listener and sometimes they lull them to sleep, often in the same track. They also have a designated member doing synths/keyboards that does an excellent job of weaving their sounds into the music, instead of going off on random and ill-advised tangents.

Their first release came as 'A Darkness Prevails', and it is without a doubt the heaviest, most black metal stuff the band ever produced. "Darkness Prevails" is the logical extension of Mahumodo and includes the monotonous crooning during the two choruses, with both being book-ended on both sides by dark, sinister and venomous black metal complete with breakdowns. Speaking of breakdowns, the pummeling one at 1:30 and again at 5:10 in "Some Friend" is unreal, although the rest of the song will have you singing along to those sweet, lullaby vocals. "Clouds" is very post-hardcore, ethereal, yet without any clean vocals while closer "Like It's Your Last" is the epic finale movement.

In 2007 DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL released their followup and first full length titled 'A Fragile Hope'. This is a much more concentrated effort that branches out in many different directions, sometimes ditching the black metal and screaming for long stretches at a time. The use of post-rock, post-hardcore and the increased distribution and efficiency of clean vocals make this a much more accessible album than it's older sibling, and is the first obvious step toward softer melodies and a more relaxed/comfortable approach to the songs in general. It begins with an ambient intro before devastating the listener with "As the Storm Unfolds", which is a heaving, turbulent, screamy concoction that will shed any silly criticism of "this band is too soft now". The screaming here is even more evil than the band's debut, extremely thick and high-pitched without being shrieky. By the next track it's apparent that longer songs are what they're going for, as both surpass the six-minute mark and are novels in metallic hardcore format. And then there's "At the End of the Tunnel" and holy shit, this is THE song. It's absolutely unrelenting in its delivery, and those ferocious vocals leading up the 59th second are shockingly good. Speaking of sick-ass tunes, "Coroner" is a nice mix of the heavy layered with both screaming and singing, while "Awaiting the Flood" is a scorching fireball that boasts the most badass and devilish section they ever recorded (starts at 2:45) and sounds almost nothing like their post-everything tunes - placing it more in line with my current musical tastes...although with later albums I start to question who the fuck I am, but we'll get to that. "Between Two Words" and "Dawn of the First Day" are drenched in post-rock/post-hardcore, creating a dreamy and lush extension of the Deftones sound and closer "Hope" ties everything up in a nice bow along similar lines.

The band's 2010 album was preceded by a split with Tortuga in 2008 but the same song ("Crane Lake", a decent track, too) appears on the 'Blessed & Cursed' LP so I'll leave it at that. Actually, speaking of leaving it at that, I should quickly say that "The Disappointment" is a banger that has strong ties to Thrice and their masterpiece "Paper Tigers". Otherwise, I don't really enjoy this record all that much. It's very post-everything but doesn't hold me the way the heavier early albums did nor with those ridiculous vocal hooks of the later material that we haven't gotten to yet. It's also rather long, with most of the songs being more than five minutes in length. It's not bad, I just like the albums before and after much more.

Hmmm, maybe let's just get there.

So here we are at 'Empire of Light', Dave's wheel of cheese. I'm quite surprised how much I like a few songs on this LP. It doesn't hold a candle to 'A Fragile Hope' as a complete piece of work, but the tracks that break through the monotony do so in an extremely effective manner. Take opener "No Remorse, No Regrets" for instance. It dives headfirst into that subterranean metallic hardcore/black metal sound that I'm always craving for when listening to DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL, but then at 3:44 the vocals kick in and I'm back in uni listening to fucking Saosin with Anthony Green and I couldn't be happier. There's also "VIII", a very short 3:22 that jumps back and forth between screamy, driving, breakdown-laden metallic hardcore and sugary sweet scene/post-hardcore/pop-punk, again something I wouldn't expect to like but I fucking looooooove it. And then, holy shit, and then there's "Crusader" aka my costco-sized strawberry jam. I could sing along to this forever and be completely content, albeit slightly insane. It's a whopping 7:13, but it swims toward the shore in the dead of night in an eerie, unsettling and subtle silence until the 37-second mark when the monster first rears it's sinister head. The song rides this massive tidal wave of metalcore until 2:47 when it breaks and those angelic vocals wash over the listener, encasing me in a womb of euphoria. I think there are like 8 more songs but I think I'm done here.

The next year, the founding vocalist Ed left band, but returned in 2017 for a 10-year anniversary tour of 'A Fragile Hope' and seems to have rejoined indefinitely. Regardless, the band's next output was in 2014 with one of the vocalists of The Arusha Accord and still stands at the band's most recent release of new material. It's okay. I mean, it's got "Unveiled" which is the closest thing you're gonna get to the metalcore days, and it even injects a phenomenal vocal hook during the chorus of, "We'll be saving, we'll be saving ourselves. We'll be saving, we'll be saving our goddamn selves." Try listening to this and not sing along, hot damn. I'm not the biggest fan of the rest of the EP, but "Devastator" is a pretty sick track, save those corny Linkin' Park vocals at the end.

With the possibility of recording new songs with two vocalists, DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL are working on new material which may or may not surface in 2019. I have no idea if I'll love it or meh it.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2004 - A Darkness Prevails cdEP

2007 - A Fragile Hope cd/12"LP

2008 - Tortuga split cdr/7"

2010 - Blessed & Cursed cdLP

2012 - Empire of Light cdLP

2014 - Belong ╪ Betray cd/12"EP

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(2004) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Darkness Prevails" (from 'Darkness Prevails') official music video

(2004) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Like It's Your Last" (from 'Darkness Prevails') official music video

(2007) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Awaiting the Flood" (from 'A Fragile Hope')

(2007) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "At the End of the Tunnel" (from 'A Fragile Hope')

(2007) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - 'A Fragile Hope' making of documentary

(2008) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Crane Lake" (from 'Tortuga' split)

(2010) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "The Disappointment" (from 'Blessed & Cursed') official music video

(2010) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Truth Has Come" (from 'Blessed & Cursed')

(2012) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Crusader" (from 'Empire of Light')

(2012) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "VIII" (from 'Empire of Light') official music video

(2012) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "No Remorse, No Regrets" (from 'Empire of Light') official music video

(2014) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Unveiled" (from 'Belong ╪ Betray') official music video

(2014) DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - "Devastator" (from 'Belong ╪ Betray') official music video

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DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL additional links
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