LIVE: Devil Sold His Soul @ Exchange, Bristol (12/10/2013)

Date: October 12th, 2013
Venue: Exchange, Bristol
Support: Palm Reader / We Butter The Bread With Butter


The opening act on tonight’s selection of the weird and wonderful is Woking’s Palm Reader (***). Difficult to categorise, they play hardcore in the vein of The Dillinger Escape Plan, but without the catchy melodic bits. The harsh crowd has less movement than a quadriplegic’s fingertips, despite Palm Reader‘s spazzmodic and energetic attempts to arouse. There’s certainly nothing wrong with Palm Reader‘s music. On the contrary, it reaches for the far corners of genre classification and comes back with a distorted version of something you’ve heard before. A special mention needs to go to drummer Dan Olds who puts his heart and soul into hitting every beat as hard as he can, looking like he might burst into flames at any moment.

If Kraftwerk were spitroasted by Rammstein and Caliban, you’d probably end up with something like We Butter The Bread With Butter (****). Three quarters of the Asking Alexandria lookalikes start playing a breakdown that goes on for hours before they’re joined on stage by vocalist, Paul Bartzsch. The faces of those who have never seen WBTBWB start to contort into a confused glare as the Germans power into their bizarre pop/death hybrid, including ‘Pyroman & Astronaut’ and ‘Breekachu’. It seems odd that despite keyboards and synth being such a large part of their act, there’s no player to be seen. WBTBWB by all means should be shitter than a One Direction tribute act, but for some reason they’re highly enjoyable and, by the time their final song comes around, it’s a shame that it’s over.

Shrouded in atmosphere are Devil Sold His Soul (*****), who play an emotionally draining aural and visual set. By now, it’s been well-documented that DSHS have had a change of vocalist, and while Paul Green‘s task of replacing Ed Gibbs may be comparable to David Moyes at Manchester United, you can sure as shit count on him to try his hardest to impress. Every dial is turned up to 11 for DSHS‘s one hour set, meaning the audience has little choice but to bear witness to the pummeling post-hardcore on display.

Songs like ‘VIII’ and ‘No Remorse, No Regrets’ are performed with ease and amplitude, with Green screaming his heart out to every lyric. His vocal style is less pronounced than his predecessor, but it’s still powerful, even in the clean sections. The glare from the lone disco ball casts an odd tint across the room that perfectly compliments DSHS‘s eerie sound. The highlight, as in any DSHS set, is ‘End Of Days’, a 7-minute voyage through desolate soundscapes and throat-charring roars.

Devil Sold His Soul are the sort of band that seem to be on the verge of something huge, and all they need is for someone to pick them up and realise their magnitude. Ed is dead, long live Paul.

Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)

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