Album Review: The Thousandfold Epicentre by Devil's Blood
Great, Based on 4 Critics
PopMatters - 80 Based on rating 8/10
“The Devil’s Blood is a dedication to principles and principals more ancient than Time, a branch of a tree greater than the World, an exclamation of both the profound and the profane. The Devil’s Blood has always been one of the many vessels through which the Light of the Devil shines upon the darkness of the world and shall always be the possible entrance to a path walked alone. But only for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
You can't spell "occult" without "cult" and yet the cult status of occult rockers the Devil's Blood felt a little threatened when the group's second full album, 2011's The Thousandfold Epicentre, was up-streamed by specialized label, Ván Records, to the more financially resourceful Metal Blade, resulting in a very un-cult-like media blitz leading up to its release. However, there is no evidence that this taste of the (ahem!) "big time" has done anything to subvert the group's seditious musical agenda, nor in any way blur their proto-metal influences. If anything has changed, it is that the songs of The Thousandfold Epicentre appear to have been birthed, by and large, out of rehearsal room jams, rather than sculpted from the ground up atop recurring melodies and riffs -- then fleshed out with more elaborate arrangements and novel instrumentation, to boot.
The Devil's Blood plays to a bygone era, cracking open the echoing, psychedelia-drenched annals of the '60s and early '70s. With the earthy production and impassioned female vocals of Coven and the relaxed groove and organic atmosphere of Black Widow, these Dutch rockers exude authenticity. This comes at a cost, however, as their sound can seem downright anachronistic in a musical world more concerned with impressive riffs than emotional weight.
They say never judge a book by its cover, or an album by its nonsensical title. Yet it's hard to begin a sitting of The Thousandfold Epicentre without expecting the requisite modern metal assault, complete with guttural grunts, rather than the clean female vocals and hardened psychedelic rock package ultimately put forward. Indeed, those new to Dutch outfit the Devil's Blood will be surprised by both the vintage themes and tones prevalent throughout, including plenty of occult references thrown in for extra spice.