Formed in 2004, DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL quickly burst onto the UK underground scene and built up a cult following with their first release, Darkness Prevails. After multiple successful releases, the band started laying out the groundwork for their latest release Loss during their first tour outside of Europe in Asia.
Starting off Loss is Ardour, a track that blends the usual vocals found in a Post-Hardcore project with a tight mix of clean and fry vocals as well as instrumentals that sound like Pop-Punk on steroids. As the album moves onto Witness Marks, a 7-minute epic that brings crushing riffs to the forefront of the sound alongside a chorus filled with dissonance that creates an eerie, atmospheric experience. Burdened is similar in structure and sound while also adding elements of classic Hardcore and a mild influence of Black Metal into the drumming too.
As the album moves along at a steady pace, the Hardcore influences and sound just becomes more and more prominent. Tateshi is your classic example of Emotional Hardcore while track 5 The Narcissist takes a heavy influence in sound from bands like Grey Haven and Every Time I Die with an insanely effective blend of Mathcore elements and groove-filled riffs and bass that effortlessly carry the listener through the track. From this point on in the album, most of the tracks just fall into the usual sound Modern Metalcore and Hardcore tends to lean a bit too hard on. That is until the final track, Loss. Loss starts out as a Dark-Pop ballad with beautiful piano accompanying a truly gorgeous vocal performance. Halfway through the track, the hardcore sound comes back to create this depressing, angry sound that feels, fittingly enough, like the motions of coming to terms with and moving past loss.
Loss as an album isn’t reinventing the wheel, for the most part, it’s exactly what I expected to hear upon listening to it. That isn’t a bad thing though, because DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL managed to do what I find most bands fail to, create an album that both sounds incredibly familiar and similar to most of what I listen to, while also making it stand apart from their contemporaries for all the right reasons.
Check out ‘Beyond Reach’, the first single from “Loss” here: