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9/10

Devil Sold His Soul - Blessed And Cursed

Pete Withers
Pete Withers 10 July at 14.00
Devil Sold His Soul - Blessed And Cursed Cover

Some lovely ambient infused metal for you, DSHS are clearly more blessed than cursed with their second offering...

Perhaps the least likely band to ever crop up at Slam Dunk Festival, Devil Sold His Soul are not readily associated with carefree afternoons at the skate park. Instead, theirs is a sound which speaks of a doomed fatality, a near-heroic acceptance of the inevitable which nonetheless refuses to go down without a fight. With his acerbic, rasping bellows of vehement despair, vocalist Ed Gibbs initially gives the impression of a man with mere moments left to live, but then his plaintive croon unfurls as swells of pure emotion spiral outwards in a manner which somehow makes the barest minimalism resonate with the power of the truly epic. Indeed, it’s this sense of contrast which characterises ‘Blessed & Cursed’, a prime example being glorious opener ‘Tides’, where Gibbs’ vicious howl suddenly explodes from the melodious swathes of carefully layered guitars and atmospherics; the aural equivalent of a comedown from hell rudely arriving halfway through a delicately blissed-out trip. An impressive showing of masterful restraint from drummer Leks Wood anchors the whole affair, with an emphasis on precision over technical showboating allowing every song to fl ow effortlessly into the next, creating an utterly exhausting, yet thoroughly rewarding whole.

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