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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Reviews: Devilment, The BossHoss, Giant Squid

Devilment: The Great And Secret Show (Nuclear Blast)

Devilment was formed by guitarist Daniel Finch in 2011, but with ever changing line up Daniel reached out to his friend Dani Filth (he of Cradle Of Filth fame) to help out on a few songs, the two worked together on demos before acquiring a stable line-up of Nick Johnson bass, Colin Parks on lead guitar, Lauren Francis on vocals and keyboards and Aaron Boast on drums and percussion. The album is not what you expect this is more of a classic metal record than the black metal you'd expect from Filth with only Stake In My Heart sounding more like Cradle than the others. Yes even the tongue in cheek aspect of the Lovecraftian, horror theme lyrics remains from his Cradle project with titles like Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me which is almost Vaudevillian in it's sound but also bringing in elements of Type O Negative and southern groove swagger. But for the most part this is more straight up metal as I've said, with Summer Arteries having a groove based delivery backed with electronics, the twin guitars are excellent, the drums still blast beat away with aplomb, the keys and samples add an extra dimension to all of the songs with the jazz piano and violins on Staring At The Werewolf Corps. Filth giving his best vocal throughout his guttural roar and screech is still present but he sings a lot more on this record than on any Cradle release, his vocals too work well with Laura Francis who has a more ethereal quality of vocal. I don't really know what I was expecting from this album but I actually enjoyed it a lot, the music is good with lashings of groove, elements of thrash, a dollop of classic metal, Filth's vocals are enjoyable for the most part (his voice is one of the bugbears of Cradle for me), as a project this is great little distraction from Filth's day job with some very strong songs and perfect modern production from Scott Atkins, more of this please! 8/10    

The BossHoss: God Loves Cowboys (Independent)

God Loves Cowboys is a compilation album from German, Country rock and rollers The BossHoss, now if you've never heard of The BossHoss then they are a German band that dress as cowboys, adopt Southern mannerisms and play covers and originals in a country rock style along with other styles to boot. As I've said this is the seven strong band's UK only compilation released to coincide with their support of Motorhead on their UK tour. Now the band have called this a compilation album not a greatest hits or a best of because it is a collection of their most well known songs, live staples and two covers. The band mix rock, country, blues and as well as hip hop, funk and disco actually have a lot in common with Danes Volbeat. From the outset of Bullpower the scene is set for rampaging, cattle rustling rock and roll, that moves straight into Whatever which is percussive and off-kilter with some crazy brass and a stylophone (yes a stylophone). This song shows what a seven piece band can do with two guitars, drums, bass (upright and electric) as well as washboard, mouth harp, keytar and mandolin as well as some howling rockabilly vocals on top from vocalist Boss Burns and guitarist Hoss Power. God Loves Cowboy's is hip hop with processed beats and even a bit of rapping thrown in showing this bands scope as they drive straight into the funk of Do It which has the bassline from Superstitious driving it along. Stallion Battalion is an acoustic cowboy punk and Backdoor Man has swamp blues all the way through it and a party atmosphere. With this unique mix of sounds The BossHoss are a truly unique band and it means that this album never gets boring, with irreverent songs, a good time atmosphere and some top drawer musicanship the album has 14 excellent originals and two clever covers; a rockabilly, mandolin driven cover of Killers by their tour mates Motorhead and a cover of Word Up by Cameo (recently featured on a VO5 advert). God Loves Cowboys is a great album for people who are unfamiliar with The BossHoss and gives you a great incite into this unique band. 8/10   

Giant Squid: Minoans (Translation Lost Records)

Giant Squid are a post metal/progressive rock band from Sacramento California, Minoans is a concept album with a historically accurate perspective on the ancient culture of the Minoans who originated from Crete, so this is high concept territory folks meaning that many will be lose their way a bit with the lyrical content unless they read along with the liner notes. So then the band have to impress with the music, which is something they really do, encompassing doom riffs Thera and Palace Of Knossos, lots of instrumental passages, elements of jazz in The Pearl And The Parthanon, some modern prog metal lots of atmosphere see slow burning opener Minoans. Nothing about this band is simple, the songs are complex as is the bands line up with three vocalist working in unison one hollering lead, one higher cleaner lead and one female harmony which means the songs have an almost choral feel vocally. They also use the traditional instruments of a guitar from Aaron Gregory, the bass of Bryan Beeson and drums from Zack Farwell but also have keys from Andy Southward and a full time cello player on board in the shape of Jackie Perez Gratz which adds an extra dimension to this album. As is the norm with bands of this ilk this a record that needs to be taken in one sitting, not a flash in the pan instant gratification album, it is one that slowly releases its charms over many listens, for some that may not appeal but for others it will make them salivate at the thought. 7/10

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