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A Devil’s Din - Skylight

A Devil’s Din
by Kyle Harding at 07 November 2016, 7:16 AM

Montreal’s A DEVIL’S DIN has just produced an album that takes me way back… and not because it’s an older album- I try not to do too many retroactive album reviews. This album takes me on a blast from the past because it sounds like it’s straight off of the Syd Barrett era PINK FLOYD discography while they were still releasing some of the most groundbreaking psychedelic rock at the time. And not only that, but the band draws on influences from psychedelic-era THE BEATLES, as well as YES and KING CRIMSON, all being vanguards of the early prog-rock movement that contributed to some of the more experimental aspects of heavy metal that we know today. So I threw on the album and reveled in the style that got me into prog into the first place.

A DEVIL’S DIN has the sound down pat for sure. The guitar by David Lines surfs on rainbow waves with a clear, yet slightly overdriven tone with some lighthearted, easy riffs, sugary sweet and easy to swallow. He even uses a wide variety of some strange effects most popular in that psychedelic era. All the while, the guitar is driven by some simple, yet classic drum style of Dominique Salameh, using many parts of the kit rhythmically and semi-polyrhythmically. Through the colorful haze, Tom Stout’s bass rumbles low, yet individually and fuzzy, standing out in the mix but still rolling the songs forward rhythmically. David Lines’ voice rolls off the tongue like butter, not unlike that of Syd Barrett himself. Finally, Lines’ warbling electric organ, a trademark of this time and an absolute necessity, hangs above the rest of the music.

Skylight” is A DEVIL’S DIN’s 2nd effort after their debut in 2011 and, in my opinion, definitely the smoothest in their discography. The tunes vary between a kind of upbeat stoner rock to gentle, dreamy folk and lullaby-ish lyrics. The album starts buzzing with the upbeat title track and then moves into “Phaze Ulysses”, probably their wildest and fastest song on the album before lightening the mood with “Never the Same Thing” and “Bow to Thee, Absurde”. We travel back into the up-tempo of “I Don’t Know” and “Eye’s Pie” before ending on “Prequel”, which has a very familiar intro reminiscing on PINK FLOYD’s “Brain Damage”.

Though “Skylight” grooves well and is an easy listen, there’s nothing terribly special beyond the fact that it sounds like it belongs in an era almost 50 years ago, and blends in with that mood very well. It harks back to a time of incredibly experimental and influential music that eventually led to the daringness of metal, but beyond that, there needs to be a bit more if A DEVIL’S DIN want to break out and make a name for themselves. The music can be a bit simple, but it plays itself well in its own little universe and doesn’t have to be more technically demanding. By and large, the album on its own is an enjoyable listen- something A DEVIL’S DIN has fully mastered, but now it’s time to see what else they can do.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Skylight
2. Phaze Ulysses
3. Never The Same Thing
4. Bow To Thee, Absurde
5. I Don’t Know
6. Nature Of The Beast
7. For A While
8. Eye’s Pie
9. Prequel
David Lines - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Tom Stout - Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dominique Salameh - Drums, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Island Dive Records


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