Now this is surely a weird one. The mysterious and enigmatic The Devil, released their self titled album and they seem to have everyone’s attention. The band does not feature any vocals but they instead use recordings of famous speeches and to be fair the end result is great, it seems like the atmospheric gothic band has really managed to bring something quite unique here.
Starting with the spooky intro “Divinorum,” the album takes flight with the keys of “Universe” featuring speeches from Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy regarding UFOs… yeah at this point you think that The Devil is probably going to be obsessed with extraterrestrial beings and the following song “Astral Dreamscape” does sound, what I would imagine to be, an alien radio frequency. But after that the album takes a completely different turn and seems to transform into, what I can only describe as the soundtrack of modern history.
“World of Sorrow” features the reports from the 9/11 attacks, filled with heavier riffs and great leads on the guitars it shows that the band has an ability to create melodies that will keep you hooked to their songs. Another great example is the following song, and probably one of the strongest of the album: “The Devil and Mankind”, featuring speeches about mysterious organizations and reports from J.F.K’s death and ending with Robert J. Oppenhaimer famous quotation of the Hindu scriptures.
“Silent City” lifts the whole atmosphere a bit, with its Fields of The Nephilim vibe and the trip continues with “Akashic Enlightenment” with Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes, also known from the film Zeitgeist before it goes back to the creation of the atomic bomb with “Extinction Level Events,” with an almost industrial like ferocity and the keyboards coloring the track with great melodies. The famous “I have a dream” speech, delivered by Martin Luther King is the main focus on the majestic sounding “Intervention” and is followed by George Bush Sr. “New World Order” speech in “Transcendence.”
After that The Devil decide to go back to their more mystic side with the “Illuminati” having a similar vibe to “Astral Dreamscape” and immediately after that the highlight of the album comes in with “Alternative Dimensions of Reality” with an almost doom metal heaviness, I found it to be the highlight of the album. “Ascension” closes the album in a great way being entirely synth based and without featuring any speeches.
To be fair there is an argument to be made here and that is whether this album would be equally impressive without the samples that it includes and the answer is that it probably would not, but I think that this release needs to be viewed as a holistic experience. Still the guitar riffs and the keyboards are excellent and the vibe that it transfers to the listener is surreal, moving and absolutely emotional. Think of it like that: You would not like a film that has no soundtrack, so in the same way why should a band be limited in incorporating just music and not go a step further?
8.5 / 10
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