Devil Sold His Soul—A Fragile Hope (2007)

Devil Sold His Soul—A Fragile Hope (2007)

Devil Sold His Soul—A Fragile Hope (2007)

Details

Produced by Jonny Renshaw and Devil Sold His Soul. Engineered and mixed by Jonny Renshaw. Recorded at Bandit Studios, Gloucestershire. Mastered by John Dent at Loud Mastering, Taunton.

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Band

  • Ed Gibbs—Vocals
  • Matt Elphick—Guest vocals on “Awaiting the flood” and “The coroner”
  • Jonny Renshaw—Guitars
  • Iain Trotter—Bass
  • Paul Kitney—Samples
  • Dave Robinson—Drums (on album)
  • Alex “Leks” Wood—Drums (listed in sleeve notes)

Tracks

  1. In the absence of light
  2. As the storm unfolds
  3. The starting
  4. Sirens chant
  5. At the end of the tunnel
  6. Between two worlds
  7. Awaiting the flood
  8. Dawn on the first day
  9. The coroner
  10. Hope

Review

I asked my three children, just based on the look of the album cover, “Does this look like it’s going to be a good album?” All three (aged, six, six and four) said “No”. I think they were only partly right. But it’s not the music, once again it’s the vocals I take issue with.

The music is interesting. It has depth, it has dynamics, it has other things that begin with ‘d’. The music is built around the guitars: big chords, big strumming, a nicely overdriven sound. In places the guitars are clean and picked which produces a nicely layered sound. The bass is punchy, the drums sit beneath it all cutting though in all the right places. I love the music: it’s bold and modern.

In places the lyrics are sung; Ed Gibbs has a nice tenor voice. But for the most part everything is SHOUTED. But it’s not the good kind of shouting. This isn’t the gruff vocals of a Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth, ex-Bloodbath) or D. Randall Blythe (Lamb of God), it’s the uncontrolled shouting of a worse-for-wear girlfriend bawling at her drunk boyfriend at 1.00 am outside a nightclub.

And that’s where my issues lie with this album. To my ears, I would go as far as saying, the songs are ruined by this style of vocals. And that’s a real shame.

I have to say that I realise that there will be people out there who love this style of vocals. I accept that, and I want to be clear in saying that the vocals aren’t rubbish they are just in a style that is not for me.

That said, I want to hold on to this album. The music is great and where the lyrics aren’t completely shouted from start to finish (like in the final track, “Hope”) I really enjoyed it.

Conclusion

They often say that the devil has all the best tunes. Well, clearly here he’s sold his soul or something. A great pity.

Review score: 65%