Devil Sold His Soul


Written by: KW on 08/04/2021 17:34:11

The concept of the human condition that is loss is not exactly a new topic in the art-form of music, which itself has always been a vessel for catharsis when grief strikes for many people, including myself. British post-metalcore veterans Devil Sold His Soul are no strangers to dealing with melancholy, and I would even go as far to say that they’ve been one of the most prominent forces within heavier music to convey this emotion that we all feel at some points in life through their last two releases, Empire of Light and Belong ╪ Betray. After an excruciating seven-year wait, which saw the return of former frontman Ed Gibbs to take up co-vocal duties alongside Paul Green, the band is now back with what turns out to be not just a career-defining, but a genre-defining tour de force of emotion.

“Loss” will not sound foreign to the already initiated Devil Sold His Soul fan; the core sound of thunderous drums, intense screams and emotional clean vocals combined with gorgeous, melodic soundscapes are all here, but have never sounded this good before. The record is filled to the brim with masterful build-ups and climaxes that never fail to make me shiver even after well over a dozen listens. And while the subject matter is heavy and the emotions are not exactly subtle, the album does deal with the theme in a nuanced way both sonically and lyrically. From the hopeful brightness of “Ardour” and “Beyond Reach”, through the depressive, icy synths of “Witness Marks”, to the longing tremolo lead guitar of “Tateishi” and the sinister synths of “Acrimony”, “Loss” isn’t an album that revels in misery, but rather covers the full spectrum of the stages of grief in spectacular fashion.

The album isn’t without surprises though. “Burdened” immediately explodes into blackgaze blast beats from the get-go with soaring vocal harmonies on top, and is one of the more dynamically diverse tracks on offer here, topped off with an enormous vocal performance from Gibbs as the track comes to a close. “The Narcissist” is by far the heaviest, most pissed-off, straight banger of the album, filled with venomous anger and powerful screams from Green. What finally broke me completely, however, were the two final tracks. “But Not Forgotten” covers the full sound pallet with incredible impact. Mastodonic chugs and post-rock shimmers envelop the listener in this seven-minute, perfectly composed mid-tempo journey that finished off by moving me to tears when I first heard it thanks to its incredible melodies in the outro. Truly stunning. And as if that wasn’t enough of an emotional blow to the stomach, the light piano intro and heart wrenching combination of the two lead singers lamenting over the loss of a loved one in the titular track was the finishing move to break my composure. That’s when I realised that we were dealing with the album the band has been moving towards this entire time when they started out back in 2004.

“Because you’re in every memory that I am

But I’d give up all I have, to make another one with you

You’re in every memory that I am

And I hope we meet again

I hope we meet again”

I can’t remember the last time I had this visceral of an emotional reaction to an album and therefore it deserves the highest praise there is, as for me, that is the main reason I love and appreciate music as an art-form. “Loss” will hold a very special place in many people’s hearts for a long time to come, of this I am sure, and personally I can proclaim it to be nothing short of an emotive masterpiece.


Download: Burdened, Tateishi, The Narcissist, But Not Forgotten
For the fans of: The Elijah, Envy, *shels, Acres
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.04.2021
Nuclear Blast Records

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