Fueled and fed on dualities and contrasts from start to finish, including the album’s title itself, ‘Blessed & Cursed’ is the second outing from ambient underground metal monsters Devil Sold His Soul. From getting your ears grinded into a beutiful submission to suspending you in a venomous frenzy of emotion and tranquility all at once, ‘Blessed & Cursed’ stands as a mighty competitor as one of the best records of 2010.
Those unfamiliar with the DSHS etiquette might be taken back at first by their uncommon approach to the metal scene. Their ambience is just as powerful as their distorted biting breakdowns, creating songs lasting almost double the normal length with each almost taking you on a journey. Journies almost like a whirlwind, throwing you at one side to a calming and peaceful serenity before slamming you to the completely other end of the spectrum. Devil Sold His Soul are one of the most refreshing British bands today.
‘Drowning/Sinking’ stands as one of their most progressive pieces, unveiling an ugly and beautiful face in its almost 8 minute long exhibition. It’s hard to expect what’s around the corner, but it pulls you in to the deep end of what this band are trying to and succeed in achieveing. ‘Callous Heart’ and ‘Crane Lake’ both catch your attention more like a sledgehammer to the head than a tap on the shoulder, with Ed Gibbs‘ now more hardcore-edged vocals fitting into their sound better than before.
It’s songs like ‘The Disappointment’ and ‘Truth Has Come’ that shine the brightest them though. Dipping you into a whirlpool of musical madness that’s as heavy as a mammoth, before spitting you out into an etheral subconcious of a calm before the much needed storm returns again.
You’re not sure what’s just happened, but you keep going back for more none the less. That’s what’s going to keep Devil Sold His Soul going. That’s what’s going to keep their heads high above the tides of recycled generic bands that keep popping up in today’s metal scene.
Written by Zach Redrup
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.