Ivory Blacks – 06/10/13

The post-metal sounds of Devil Sold His Soul attract a varied bunch. There are the more obvious metal heads, poised and ready to pounce at the mere mention of a riff; then there are those who let the waves of noise wash over them, entranced by the hypnotic and repetitive basslines that build to euphoric climaxes.

Unfortunately for Palm Reader, the latter are the early birds. The band resemble caged animals at a zoo behind the Ivory Blacks barrier, as curious punters dare to edge closer during the visceral hardcore assault. Introducing tracks with anecdotes like “this song’s about a fucking scumbag” is a better indication of what sort of music they make than any press release will ever tell you. Their tightly shambolic set never misses a beat, and you get the feeling that had their instruments allowed them, they would have brought the fury right to the faces of those too shy to step forward.

We Butter the Bread with Butter’s music makes about as much sense as their name. Comparisons to other bands whose music consists of 90% furious breakdowns are easy, but they are actually more akin to 3Oh!3 on a cocaine binge. As brutal as the whole thing is meant to appear, it feels family friendly, with lasers on their guitars and gloves that would make a modern day Spinal Tap proud.

Devil Sold His Soul provide something different entirely. New vocalist Paul Green immediately casts aside any doubts about whether he can fill the gap left by Ed Gibbs. Opener ‘No Remorse, No Regrets’ sounds just as powerful as ever, and that moment still sends shivers down your spine. The relentless strobe lighting, making the band appear only as shadows on a stage, helps transport you to a place where even the heaviest music can feel like salvation, while the melodic passages see a grinning Green grab ahold of those who can’t help but sing back. New track ‘Time’ slips effortlessly into the setlist, while ‘VIII’ is a standout with its perfect balance of metal and melody. We’re lucky to have DSHS – their hypnotically heavy assault is unlike anything else out there.

[Scott Wilson]

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