Gather the Sinners

Written by: EW on 02/04/2013 15:09:01

Sign me up and make a space on that bandwaggon for my skinny arse - I am selling myself to this heritage/doom/occult rock/metal (delete as appropriate) revival. What other 'scene' has produced so many albums of such variance, character and quality as this in recent times? In Devil's second LP "Gather the Sinners" we have another release that sees doomy and catchy songwriting collide head-on with an analogue and true production job to produce an album that is appealing from the very first listen and furthers the credence that right now, looking backwards is the new forwards.

While it is hard to argue against the sound propagated by Devil as being a firm approximation of where industry interest is at present it really shouldn't matter when songs like "Southern Sun", "Ladies of the Night" and "Mother Shipton pt. I" are the result. The under-produced organic feel of real drums, a distorted bass guitar, overlapping crusty guitars and the gnarled and nasal vocals of Joakim Trangsrud give it a distinct garage rock feel that permeates throughout and offer clues as to where Devil's appeal might lie: like The Devil's Blood before them, the occult-ish image and moniker should be no barrier for fans of acts ranging from The White Stripes and The Black Keys to the more predictable doom and heavy metal names of Sabbath, Pentagram, Vitus, Witchfinder General et al form enjoying what is on offer here. Unlike their peers however it is not just garage rock and doom feeding the beast: a punk spirit in the vein of the Ramones exists in the beat to "Darkest Day" and "They Pale", abetted by Trangsrud's snappy vocal lines and curt delivery that helps keep the album flowing superbly well during its 52 minutes.

Opener "Southern Sun" sets the template for an album stuffed full of simple yet highly effective groove as Ronny Østli's 4/4 patterns offer the backbeat for Thomas Ljosåk's Sabbath-ian bass lines to roll over the top, while even the solos which emerge later on shy away from being overtly flash, instead preferring to use the grainy bassy tone to further the great tempo which permeates throughout a song which I have personally loved since very first listen. Following on the album exists at a similar, Saint Vitus doomed tempo but not without each track having an identity of its own. "Beyond the Gate" is a more psychedelic affair with a notably prominent bass line; "Restless Wanderer" adds a chorus to hail in it's morbidly doomed tempo; "Lead Me Astray" is a pleasant acoustic interlude before "Ladies of the Night" is as relentlessly infectious to the soul as the song's subject matter. "Demons on Wheels" possesses the hallmarks of moderate mainstream success in a spacey trippy kinda way before "Coffin Regatta" brings down the curtain in the same pounding doom fashion it's precedents all did so well.

The production style may initially seem lacking for listeners of a more modern disposition but the quality of these 12 tracks should be confirmation enough to rock and metal fans across the spectrum that this is a revivalist genre with substance and in "Gather the Sinners", another record that has all the potential to be lauded high and wide for its simplistic, songwriting brilliance.


Download: Southern Sun, Ladies of the Night, Legacy
For The Fans Of: Orchid, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Kadavar, Black Sabbath
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 22.03.2013
Soulseller Records

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