Graham Reid | | 1 min read
From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one . . .
Although this third album by New Zealand's hard rock, cross-generational quartet out of Hamilton might not to be to the taste of some Elsewhere listeners, we here are frequently in awe of their accumulated, taut musical firepower and the powerful vocals of Jennie Skulander, all of which come together on Red.
Produced by Greg Haver at Auckland's Roundhead, these 12 songs are not relentlessly full-throated metal but boast classy internal dynamics (Eyes Red Heavy which eases towards quiet-LOUD prog, the thrilling Blood and Bone, Sweet Release towards the end which might have been placed a little higher in the running order as a breathing space)
They also know when to wind things down before unleashing their full artillery (Endo which seduces you).
There is archetypal fast-forward and guttural rumble (Same Life which soars with the angels as much as it roars from Satan's pit) and flame-thrower head-banging fury (Everybody's High But Me, with an unexpected counterpoint vocal part which has Skulander laughing at the end).
There's also metal-edge blues quality to the bluntly philosophical Be Like the River.
This year Devilskin celebrate their first quite extraordinary decade – award nominations, number one albums – and they have won over an audience beyond metal because they craft powerful songs which have a sense of tension/release and boast strong melodies.
They may come on like a well-oiled rock machine (Bright Lights) but there are extraordinary musicians and a humanity within the heart of this powerful beast.
Light fuse and stand well clear.
ELSEWHERE ENCOURAGES ITS READERS TO SUPPORT NEW ZEALAND ARTISTS BY BUYING THEIR MUSIC DIRECTLY RATHER THAN STREAM THROUGH SPOTIFY WHERE THEIR RETURNS ARE NEGLIGIBLE