Dani Filth is a pretty busy guy, considering he’s the frontman of both CRADLE OF FILTH and DEVILMENT. This year, he’s returned once more with the second offering from his musical side-project, DEVILMENT, entitled Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes.
Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes begins with Judas Stein, with Dani’s eerie whispers introducing us to the album and setting an evil tone from the outset. The chorus is hard-hitting and dramatic, with. A beautifully executed solo compliments the track well, while the main riff thunders on in the background, making a solid entry to the album for the listener.
The next track on the album, Hitchcock Blonde, differs a fair bit from the first track of the album, which shows the variety in DEVILMENT’s musical creativity. A chunky and catchy guitar riff kicks off, accompanied a chorus that’ll struggle to leave your head (you’ll be muttering “HITCHCOCK BLONDE” to yourself all day after listening to it). The inclusion of chilling high-pitched vocals from keyboardist and vocalist Lauren Francis, paired with Dani’s shrieks, work wonderfully, especially before cleaner vocals follow behind the chorus.
Other tracks definitely worthy of a mention in the album are Under the Thunder, with its heavy and somewhat symphonic starter, and malevolent lyrics, which are a major factor in this record’s enjoyability. Shine on Sophie Moone is another banger full of fast-paced madness, with a similar sound to CRADLE OF FILTH. The spoken-word section for Shine on Sophie Moone is incredibly dark and immerses you into the track, before blowing you away with Lauren Francis’ exquisite vocal contributions and another cracking guitar solo.
Entangled in Our Pride brings just about everything positive that’s said in this review into one track, and blasts it to the highest possible standard. It’s an absolute belter of a track, with emphasis on Lauren Francis and Dani Filth working together beautifully with guitarist Colin Parks to create what is arguably the best song that DEVILMENT have created to date.
Generally speaking, the album sounds quite similar to CRADLE OF FILTH in places. While this is primarily down to Dani’s rather distinguished vocals (which obviously can’t be helped, and isn’t a bad thing in the slightest), the instrumentals are also rather reminiscent of CRADLE OF FILTH on occasion, making it a familiar listen for some which can be both good and bad for DEVILMENT. A strong positive to take out of this familiarity is that new fans to metal would probably prefer DEVILMENT as a potential gateway to more extreme metal, and CRADLE OF FILTH themselves for that matter.
Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes is a dark, twisted, fast-paced record that plays well to the ear. While it is for the most part, rather hectic, there are slower moments, such as the beautifully light and depressive piano intro in Full Dark, No Stars. These moments, and Lauren Francis’ contributions, are key to making this album stand out. Francis‘ contrast to Dani’s vocals make every track with them singing together incredibly interesting to listen to. Additionally, drum work from Matt Alston is a consistent positive throughout the entire album, and brings every track together well.
In Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes, DEVILMENT have created an album that is produced well and has some catchy and undoubtedly well-written tracks on it, with evil and mysterious niches that make you want to keep on listening. While it isn’t ground-breaking nor a totally new sound to what’s been created in the past either by Dani Filth or others in the scene, it’s a record that is definitely worth adding to your collection, even if it’s just for the absolute glory of a track that is Entangled in Our Pride. It’s similarity to CRADLE OF FILTH lets it down in terms of originality, but it’s a great listen nonetheless.
Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes is set for release on November 18th via Nuclear Blast Records.
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