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Devil - To The Gallows

To The Gallows
by Ofer Mashiach at 14 July 2017, 10:16 AM

Well, what do we have here? It's been four years since the Norwegian DEVIL released their sophomore album, "Gather the Sinners," and now the sinners have gathered again to celebrate the third LP of this group, "To the Gallows." This new album was released in April 2017 and picks up where the former album left. They continue their line of rocking Doom Metal with a naturally evolved vibe and slight change of sound.

The murkiness is still there alright, but the production is more polished (I'm not quite sure it compliments their style, though). The fuzz gave room to a clearer guitar tone and highly audible bass, which is always welcome. It sounds warm and appealing. It also seems that the band moved a little bit from their comfort zone in the direction of pure, classic Heavy Metal. To me, the NWOBHM-ish overtones are undeniable in here and hooks are catchy as hell. The songwriting is very straightforward and the spirit of BLACK SABBATH and PENTAGRAM is hovering above, but DEVIL do not fall into the trap of worshipping and maintain their integrity throughout to make their own distinct style. Fans of both Heavy Metal and Doom Metal will enjoy the best of both worlds.

It is not flawless, though. The husky vocal tone lacks variation and doesn't do anything more challenging. Not necessarily in terms of range but in terms of effect, as mellower and cleaner singing here and there could make wonders for this album. Also, the gang chants at certain points sound PUNK-ish, a slight turnoff, as far as I'm concerned.

Generally speaking, the bass is playing a major role in keeping things groovy and engaging. The riffs are simple yet effective, just like in the formative days of the genre back in the 1970's, but the result manages to sound fresh. It appears that the band members have read carefully the Tony Iommi handbook of Metal and they apply it to the letter. They don't attempt to be flashy, just play their tunes with ample conviction and get into the hearts of listeners. They also do a good job of matching the correct sound to their style and not the other way around

Other than that, there is nothing bad to say about this album. If you are looking for an enjoyable listen, without getting to far into deep-seated thoughts or cumbersome over-technicality, and one with a high replaybility value to suit a general mood, this album is for you.

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

4 Star Rating

1. To the Gallows
2. Trenches
3. Dead Body Arise
4. Regulators
5. Reaper's Shadow
6. Peasants & Pitchforks
7. Jumping off the Edge of Time
8. David & Goliath
9. Cemetery Still
Joakim Trangsrud - Vocals
Stian Fossum - Guitars
Thomas Ljosaak - Bass
Kai Wanderås - Guitars
Ronny Østli - Drums
Record Label: Soulseller Records


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