I first read about the Devil’s Blood in the metal press. About how they were this ferocious quintet from the Netherlands with a wild-haired singer covered in blood. Occult rituals, perhaps satanic, were involved. All of it was true and all of it missed the point.
First off, the Devil’s Blood: not metal. It’s so much more the head spins. Put on paper the band is kind of impossible. And that is the point. Or one of them.
Released in 2008, the Dutch quintet’s first EP, Come, Reap, was a sublime mesh of irreconcilable elements. There’s that blood-covered singer—but she has this shivery alto that’s like a possessed Grace Slick. There’s the haunted guitar psychedelia of 1960s Pretty Things, the compositional flow of “Rhiannon” period Fleetwood Mac, the guitar heroics of Richard Lloyd in his Television glory days, and a general Roky Erickson vibe. That this all blends together with nary a retro moment or source quotation—that’s some serious alchemy.
In May arrived the band’s latest, The Time of No Time Evermore, a more restless thing constantly looking for ways to musically outdo itself. The band’s live three-guitar attack is multi-tracked into harmonized layers of shimmer, grind, and/or trance. “Christ or Cocaine” is triumphant delirium, “Evermore” a radio-friendly, sexed-up fatalism (Blood songs don’t do single emotions). Album closer “The Anti-Kosmik Magick” is both a dizzying 11-minute psychedelic guitar workout and a lyric manifesto. “As my blood starts to mix with the clay,” singer F. the Mouth of Satan sings, “I tear these chains away.”
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