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Devilment - II-The Mephisto Waltzes (2016) - Review

Band: Devilment
Album title: II-The Mephisto Waltzes
Release date: 18 November 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

01. Judas Stein
02. Hitchcock Blonde
03. Under The Thunder
04. Full Dark, No Stars
05. Shine On Sophie Moone
06. Life Is What You Keep From The Reaper
07. Dea Della Morte
08. Entangled In Our Pride
09. Hell At My Back

If someone thought that Devilment is just one time thing when they released the first album The Great And Secret Show two years ago, and kind of a side project by Dani Filth of notorious Cradle Of Filth, he/she was very wrong. Devilment is back even stronger and I can easily say with even more intriguing album than it was the predecessor. Ok, the founder Daniel Finch left in pursue of other musical discoveries, but Dani Filth and his team of nefarious frights which now consists of bassist Nick Johnson, guitarist Colin Parks, keyboardist and female vocalist Lauren Francis, and new drummer Matt Alson, decided to make Devilment an entity to be reconsidered and here they came with a horror dark metal masterpiece The Mephisto Waltzes. Musically not that much has changed if compared to the debut album, the thing is that I find The Mephisto Waltzes a bit more mature, deliberate and consolidated album on those crucial points that made already The Great And Secret Show an outstanding record. The Mephisto Waltzes is a cracked and crazed rollercoaster ride through a twisted universe populated by grotesque monsters, deviant freaks and irresistible, ghoulish heroines.

The second offering of Devilment features nine tracks full of gothy/horror metal with a lot of creepy atmospheric soundscapes. It's a haunting and often captivatingly extreme, often with some black metal in it, but not only, there are plenty of NWOBHM and typical hard rock hooks, and all this manifests in great dynamics that The Mephisto Waltzes offers. Vocally it's seems a bit more demanding and Dani’s trademark verbal subterfuge just perfectly deals with it, and just like on the previous album, his voice if compared to Cradle Of Filth is a bit more guttural, yet deep, somehow compact and there's not that much of those sometimes silly typical shrieks and screeches, but still, fans of Dani’s work in Cradle Of Filth will find plenty to relish here. There is more use of female vocals, provided by Lauren, and where utilized it really adds a surplus and some duets are just a beauty and works out so well, like for example the catchy gothic metal tune "Full Dark, No Stars", but also the strong, dramatic, sick and virulent love song "Hitchcock Blonde", the thunderous "Under The Thunder" or the melodic yet very captivating "Entangled In Our Pride", just to name a few. On certain locations, like for example in the twisted "Dea Della Morte" the use of female vocals reminded me to the ones of Tristania from Ashes or Illumination albums.

The sound is throughout very dense and rich with many different layers and textures, there are often heard many twists and turns, and in the end all of this results in kind of a bold and unadulterated compositions that grabs you deep in your darkened soul, and yeah, that's done already with the thunderous gothy opener "Judas Stein". There are plenty of twisted melodic patterns, guitar lines are aggressive but also technical what is best and clearly heard in some intriguing leads, like for example in schizophrenic darkness of speeding punk-metal in "Shine On Sophie Moone". Pounding drums and strong rhythmic line are of course a necessary addition to make everything coherent. If compared to the debut album Devilment used this time more different keys that enriched the already deviant and grotesque atmosphere by a great deal. I was also surprised when I heard that almost generic speed metal drive in "Life Is What You Keep From The Reaper" and how nicely it blends into the whole picture. Also those melodic heavy metal riffs, like heard in "Entangled In Our Pride" or in the blackened horror rock/metal tune "Hell At My Back" are nothing but a joy listening to.

It's nice to hear and see that Devilment are becoming such an entity on its own. I know that I already said almost only good things about their debut album, but this one is certainly one step higher, it's a bolder and more divergent album that offers a lot to many types of listeners, not only to fans of Cradle Of Filth. Everything shines even more because of great production that adds another degree of heaviness to the whole thing. Devilment became with this album a wholly distinctive unholy force, with an intuitive understanding of the value of shattering every mirror and stepping through into an alternate dimension where rulebooks smoulder and hell’s gates are thrown open for an unhinged but celebratory knees-up, and certainly a genuine force to be reckoned with.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10

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