Ambient and atmospheric metalheads Devil Sold His Soul have always been one of those bands who haven’t quite been able to get a grasp onto the more mainstream side of the scene. Undoubtedly this is due to their lengthy and argubaly intelligent songs, avoiding the usual structures and conventions as much as possible, instead looking for a more artistic direction. Now on the UK promotional tour of album number two, ‘Blessed & Cursed’, things for the sextet may steadily be building a momentum.
Local openers Hayabusa (**) are far from heavy, but the 7-string fret workings of frontman Rob Hallard, the funky bass input of Phil Hargreaves and the stellar and precise drumming from Rich Adams are impressive. Despite their avoidance of making things too easy and the lack of interactivity from the crowd, the band come across a little tense and restrained, leaving for a performance that lacked its full potential.
Feed The Rhino (****) however are so far from reserved it’s almost unreal. Vocalist Lee Tobin from the offset jumps into the crowd and gets the action going as soon as humanly possible, pushing people from side to side and inciting the evening’s first mosh pit. Even later into their set he requests for the biggest circle pit The Roadhouse has ever seen, and like pawns they follow his every word. He even ends the set by diving into the maximum of 8 or 9 people on the front row, bringing a rather exciting end to their set.
Though not quite as involved with the crowd as their chosen tour support, Devil Sold His Soul (****) are still more than capable to pull off a great show. Starting things with the flow of new album opening tracks ‘Tides’ and ‘Drowning/Sinking’, a few sounds problems face the band, most notably with Ed Gibbs‘ vocals. Fortunately these issues are soon resolved, and the album are finally able to fledge and give it their all. The guitars are soaring, the electronics are haunting, the vocals are both intense and passionate, and overall Devil Sold His Soul are stunning, and a statement couldn’t be more true during their renditions of ‘As The Storm Unfolds’ and ‘Callous Heart’.
Despite a few technical draw-backs at the beginning of their set, Devil Sold His Soul have proven once more that they’re one of the most underated British metal bands on the scene today. Only time will tell if they will finally gain the recognition they deserve, but even if that day never comes those who appreciate them are truly fortunate.
Written by Zach Redrup