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DEVIL (Time To Repent) LP/CD

So here is the next band in the current roster of "retro" bands to entertain us with occult Metal. Devil are from Norway and go into a similar direction as, for example, Ghost. There is a certain doomy feeling, metal riffs of the old school, and some kind of sound that evokes memories of the mid 70s/early 80s Metal scene. After the cliche-ridden intro 'The Welcoming', the album kicks off with a lot of references to Black Sabbath in 'Break The Curse', while 'Blood Is Boiling' shifts into a NWOBHM gear when the band increases the tempo at around the 2-minute mark. The title track 'Time To Repent' sounds to me as if Saxon where playing more doomy stuff. Add a bit of Demon and off you go. Next up is the almost happy sounding 'Crazy Woman' that strongly contrasts with the following song and first highlight of the album namely 'Open Casket' which mixes Pentagram-Doom and Angel Witch-like mid-tempo Metal. That one really stuck in my mind for quite a while.

'Death of A Sorcerer' continues with these references to Angel Witch. Think of their track 'The Sorcerers', because there are a number of parallels to the song of Devil. 'At The Blacksmith's' and 'Howling (At The World)' return to Pentagram-infused Doom before the album concludes with an outro after already 35 minutes. Devil should have enough talent to become something big in the current scene and I think it's perfectly okay. Their mixture of Doom, NWOBHM-influences, the odd vocal style, and simple arrangements should do the trick. But sometimes the whole thing is less than the sum of its parts. Especially the punky vocal style does not work for me as well as a couple of vocal lines. Combined with a mid-ranged delivery, it decreases my pleasure of the songs.

The best example is 'Howling (At The World)'. I really dig the arrangement and riffs but the vocals withhold me from going crazy about that song. Devil have some good tracks such as 'At The Blacksmith's' where they really show what they are capable of and where the vocals fit better than in other songs. In contrast to this, 'Crazy Woman' reminds me of stuff that I did not like already at that time. Other riffs and songs are quite okay, but that is not enough for me to burst out in enthusiasm. The album, whose production is very well suited to the songs and points out the vintage vibe, is okay for a debut. There is a bit of light in 'Open Casket' and 'At The Blacksmith's', a few pitfalls whereas the rest consists of solid songs. Sometimes I can enjoy the album, and other times it annoys me. Nevertheless I ask you to find out what it can do for you.

(Thorsten Frahling)