Australian band DEVIL ELECTRIC was formed almost exactly two years before I write these words, and came quickly to some prominence with the release of their initial EP “The Gods Below” in 2016. The band then signed to German label Kozmik Artifactz, who are set to release the band’s self-titled debut album in August 2017.
It doesn’t take all that long to understand why this band have managed to gain traction in the music business of 2017. They have opted for a vintage sound, which generally is popular, their style of choice is vintage doom metal, and while the music does come with some expected nods and winks they also manage to create music that has a striking identity and sound. Not without similarities to others, but with enough deviations from some of the more commonly used norms to appear as more of a fresh and creative band.
Devil Electric is a band that will sound instantly familiar to any fan of vintage Black Sabbath of course, that is something of a given when a band has a go at vintage doom metal. The moods, atmospheres and riffs are never too far away from the creations of Iommi and crew. Devil Electric opts to reign in the guitar sound a bit at times though, creating a smoother and tighter sound when they opt for that approach. The guitar soloing also merits a mention, as the band has a penchant for flowing, gliding psychedelic guitar overlays, which does add a distinct additional aspect to the material. Psychedelic details also appear here and there in other forms, more as a subtle than a dominant feature, but enough to separate this band from many others operating in similar territories. By accident or design they also reference the sound of another band on concluding cut Hypnotica, which to my mind at least had a bit more of an Electric Wizard feel to it. Despite of or because of this, this track is also my pick from this production, and it makes total sense to me why this track was chosen as the first single from this album.
Another detail that separate Devil Electric from many other bands of a similar nature are the vocals of Pierina O’Brien. She has a very good timbre to her voice for this kind of music, in kind of an Annie Lennox manner I think, and while it is slightly distracting to get associations towards Eurythmics when listening to a doom metal band she does a hell of a fine job as a vocalist, easily carrying the songs where she contributes. She has a tone of voice that should make her an ideal choice as a singer if the band opts to cover some of Black Sabbath’s classic tracks when playing live too, and if that isn’t a part of their live routine it should be.
While not perfect this is an utterly charming and very well made debut album by this band from down under, combining vintage doom metal and vintage heavy psychedelic hard rock in a compelling and striking manner. Arguably with a wee bit of grunge approach at times too, but as explored through vintage sounds. A band and an album easy to recommend to anyone that like vintage doom metal, with fans of bands such as Black Sabbath and to some extent also Electric Wizard among the ones that should take note of this production.
My rating: 82/100
Monologue (Where You Once Walked), Shadowman, Lady Velvet, Acidic Fire, Monolith, The Dove & the Serpent, The Sacred Machine, Lilith, Hypnotica