It’s always difficult when a key member decides to leave the band, but it’s even more tricky when it’s the vocalist. Ed Gibbs left Devil Sold His Soul in 2013 after three albums to be replaced by ex-The Arusha Accord vocalist, Paul Green. At first, the change signaled the end of the band for many fans, but Green has strived for acceptance and, with the release of ‘Belong ╪ Betray’, he’s got some recorded material to plead his case.
Some may consider it unfair to compare the two singers, but a comparison must be made when it changes such a key fragment of the band’s sound. Green brings a different vocal style to the table – more guttural than the, some have said, over-emotional method that Gibbs employed. His live presence is much greater as well, putting his all into every performance. ‘Belong ╪ Betray’ is five slabs of music that perfectly compliment the atmosphere that washes over you when you see DSHS play live.
There are really three main parts to ‘Belong ╪ Betray’. There’s the heavy opener of ‘Devastator’ that rides a meaty riff into a hurled sung chorus. It’s a solid start to the Green era of DSHS, but any doubts that he’s the man for the job are swiftly put to bed with ‘Time’; a classic DSHS track that combines their signature passion and ability to create atmosphere. It’s the same thing that Jared Leto does in Thirty Seconds To Mars, but much heavier.
‘Unveiled’ is another track that would fit in seamlessly to the band’s last album, ‘Empire Of Light’. The rest of the EP consists of a quiet number (‘╪’) and another heavy/slow track in ‘Alive’.
Devil Sold His Soul are in a new era. Just like when Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United to be replaced by Louis Van Gaal (let’s ignore David Moyes, shall we), Paul Green has stepped into some mighty big boots. It’s safe to say that with ‘Belong ╪ Betray’, the first big hurdle has been surpassed.
Written by MG Savage (@MGSavagewriter)