Had I not known what I was listening to, I would have asked: this can’t be Faith No More’s new album by any chance, can it?? They did recently make an announcement about a forthcoming reunion, but, as far as I am aware, this hasn’t quite happened yet.
Not that I want to diminish the qualities of Devilstrip’s debut album. God no! If anything, I hope this comparison comes more as a compliment to them than anything else.
First time I heard their album, I was really impressed – right from the very first riffs. And I mean impressed! They did remind me of many bands I really love, from Faith No More, through Red Hot Chili Peppers, to Motley Crue and Bon Jovi. Which doesn’t mean they have lifted anything from their famous colleagues. Not at all. Nor does it mean that their music lacks originality. To the contrary: they have found their own place under the sun, and can be proud of what they have achieved!
The more I listen to the CD, the more it grows on me. Any associations with FNM get more prominent: in terms of music as well as singing style (Marc Wasmund, lead vocalist, does remind me of Mike Patton – although I’d be happy to disagree). I would love to hear this guy sing live, and just keep my fingers crossed that he can be just as good as he sounds on record.
They do have their own unique sound and style, which I dare say is just perfect. I do find it hard to believe that this can be someone’s first album. There just has to be a trick to this, honestly! It’s a bit too well written and performed. Too powerful and bloody brilliant. Maybe a bit too polished, but hey, they surely know how to make an impression!
The album has ten tracks to it, so is not a short one. Still, I find that song after song it makes me want to hear more. It doesn’t bore you at all. Fine melodies and powerful rhythm tempt you to sing along and nod to the beat. Clear vocal (James LaBrie’s type) is aggressively powerful, but also lyrical when required.
They describe their genre as original hard rock. I would add to this that it is a perfect amalgamation of hard rock, melodic heavy metal and alternative metal at their best.
Songs are really well performed and could easily top the charts. Still, although hit material, I don’t find the album cheesy. It is definitely not pop rock by any means. In some tracks there is change of pace halfway through (‘Including Me’ being a good example), so does keep you on your toes. They also have some slow, head-banging material (‘To The Enemy’), just to prove that they can do this, as well as more commercial stuff.
All in all, I must say I find it difficult to find faults with ‘Rise’. The only thing I am not too sure about are the backing vocals in ‘Are You Ready’. They do sound a bit out of tune at times, but judging by the overall quality of the music, this is most probably intentional. To make sure you are still listening. 🙂
1. Not What You Need
3. Including Me
4. Are You ready
5. Kill The Headlights (Roll) – I cannot resist commenting on the intro: it sounds like building up towards the main tune in FNM’s ‘From Out of Nowhere’. Anyone agree with this analogy at all? Or is it just me?
6. To the Enemy
8. Light Up The Room
9. Love, Hate, Die
10. The Said
Overall, this is a very powerful album. Perfect debut for a great band. I wholeheartedly give it 10/10.
Marc Wasmund – vocals, guitar
Graig Lindgren – bass
Jimmy Gray – drums