Formed by guitarist Daniel Finch, Devilment have been in existence since 2011 and gained a fair bit of buzz about 18 months back when it was announced that Dani Filth would be joining as the vocalist.
Now, I’m not the biggest Cradle Of Filth fan but I was genuinely interested in what this, their debut album would sound like…. I mean they got signed straight to Nuclear Blast… so they can’t be shit can they? (Although NB put out that Nightwish bloke’s concept album about Scrooge McDuck so they’ve obviously got some nutters working for them).
Would it be any good or would it sound like a bargain basement ‘Cradle..’ a sort of ‘Lidl Of Filth’ as it were….. well the truth is it’s a bit of both…
Opener ‘Summer Arteries’ took me by surprise with an almost Def Leppard ballady type intro before it kicks off proper with a really strong riff…. nothing to blow your skirt up but it’s memorable and propels the song along nicely ….. until some two bob synth kicks in and tries to turn the song into something Rammsteiny. Which it fails to do… and then Dani’s vocals start. Now this is just a personal view but his ‘unique’ approach while suited to the drama & histrionics of Cradle Of Filth stand out like a Shetland pony’s cock on this track (and a few others on the album) and not in a good way. The song isn’t bad as such, it’s got a really strong hook but can’t seem to decide what it’s trying to be… straight forward metal, cut-price industrial or pseudo goth wafty nonsense. But… despite all that it’s inoffensive with some great drum work from Aaron Boast. So I pressed on…
Second track and lead single ‘Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me’ just plain upset me….. The title itself conjures a song that only fat goth women [or indeed bloke Ed] in big skirts and corsets two sizes too small would listen too in between watching Twilight movies and regular trips to Greggs. Why this is the song they decided to put on magazine sampler discs is beyond me. Still, it’s got a bit of groove too it. Far better is next song ‘Girl From Mystery Island’ a groove laden, extremely catchy track that reminds me of early Rob Zombie… and it’s got a violin solo in it… which is clever.
‘Living With The Fungus’ could have been on any of the last three Cradle.. albums and is a bit more aggressive and harder edged. ‘Mother Kali’ has some of the worst lyrics I’ve heard in a while …
“Mother Kali Kali Maa Oh cover partly start this party divali Come start this party darkly”
but does have a good stop / start riff that drives the track.
The rest of the album follows suit. Some awful lyrics, out of place synth & keyboard work and vocals that vary from ok to annoying. But the tracks are all fairly interesting and keep you listening even if it’s out of morbid curiosity.
Thing is there’s obviously a really good band here, talented musicians that are swimming in ideas but the feeling I got from this record is that of a band trying too hard, cramming in too many ideas and losing a bit of identity and because of Dani’s vocals comparisons with Cradle are inevitable. If this turns out to be just a side project for Dani then the rest of the band certainly sound strong enough to push on with a replacement singer (which may not be a bad thing). If you’re a die-hard Dani fan you’ll love it I guess, the lyrics are typically tongue in cheek even if they are diabolical in places and despite the comparisons to other bands there is (like Cradle) a certain quirky ‘Britishness’ to the album.
(5/10 Mark Eve)