Devil In Me

Soul Rebel

Written by: MAK on 27/12/2015 21:27:46

Devil In Me has been a name that has been thrown on various Impericon tours over recent years, yet I automatically pigeonholed them as a pretty decent but generic metalcore band judging from their third album “The End”. Note my surprise when I discover they have switched to more of a crossover hardcore stance on their fourth album, “Soul Rebel”. Where did this idea come from?

Instantly you get the feeling that there will be a mixture of vibes, the first riff in the intro has a nice groove to it with a chilled out tempo to it. Then in comes “Break The Chains” with a more upbeat pace and riffs containing a more thrash-like urgency to them. The opening song is quite catchy based on its repetitive lyricism, the song title repeated enough to imprint itself into your brain for weeks, then towards the end the song slows town into a similar chilled tempo to the intro, and turns into some sort of hardcore ballad.

The title-track “Soul Rebel” follows that with mostly feel good vibes, strongly opening with the words “This is for the ones who never lost hope”. Full of messages that we need to stick together to survive, at all ages young and old. Musically this track is one of the most upbeat hardcore songs I’ve heard, especially in the chorus as you feel the urge to shout the words “Soul Rebel, like a lion” with a smile on your face instead of the usual angst. Including everything from the positive vibes and energy, to the gang vocals, “Soul Rebel” is up there as one of the most enjoyable hardcore songs in recent years. The song and even the album is reminiscent to Down To Nothing’s 2013 release “Life On The James”, both the song and the album of the same name. The title-track of it happens to be the happiest hardcore song I’ve ever heard, yet it is surrounded by gritty, angsty vibes on the rest of the release.

After that statement it feels a shame to say the rest of the album can’t live up to the hype, at least not in the same way as the title track. The album continues to be awesomely fast and heavy, with lots more of the switching between thrashy riffs and the groovy ones. The vocals aren’t really dominant but they stay consistently raspy throughout. they just seem to be slightly drowned out by the guitar work, drum beats and the many shoutouts a lot of the time. What the rest of the album lacks is the almost party vibe that the song “Soul Rebel” adds, though perhaps “Control” is the closest to the fun side of hardcore.

Not to say that they aren’t decent enough, “Remember My Name” and “Monster” are pure pit starters, though that isn’t surprising when “Monster” features several members of crossover act Biohazard. “Knowledge Is Power” is quite anthemic along with “Warriors” which features Freddy Cricien of Madball. The only other real standout track is “Born To Battle”, because of the Warhound-esque riffs that are timed slightly differently to other riffs that flood the rest of the album.

On a whole “Soul Rebel” is a pretty good listen, and distinctively different to its metalcore predecessor, is it an improvement? Based on a genre change that can only depend on personal preference on the listener - I’m going to say it is equally good. Compared to most hardcore music, the album is slightly above average, but some enjoyable moments and only one real great highlight isn’t enough to carry it forward as a great album. I do like the switch to crossover hardcore, though, I just wish there was a bit more of the fun style hardcore to balance the album a lot more.


Download: Soul Rebel, Warriors, Monster
For The Fans Of: Terror, Down To Nothing, Biohazard, Madball

Release date 20.11.2015
Impericon Records

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