The Devil's Blood

Come Reap

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Retro-metal bands came in all shapes and sizes during the first decade of the third millennium, with the greatest number arguably devoted to thrash and doom, but very few dared dig as deep into heavy metal's moldy, primordial soil as Holland's the Devil's Blood. Their first demos already suggested as much, but it was the group's 30-minute debut mini-album, 2008's Come Reap, that revealed the full extent of the band's dark obsession for dredging up elements of late-‘60s psychedelia, garage, and acid rock, along with the ritualized Satanism of borderline metallic outfits like Coven and Black Widow, with which to festoon their gothic ‘70s metal hallmarks. Indeed, from the insistent drums and infectious circular melody of the title track, through to the languidly hypnotic balladry of the closing epic, "Voodoo Dust" -- stopping along the way to unleash echoing N.W.O.B.H.M à la Witchfynde on "River of Gold" and Nuggets-bred grooves on "The Heavens Cry Out for the Devil's Blood" -- it's as though this ensemble was possessed by a malevolent spirit (surely Geezer Butler or Bobby Liebling) while recording their evocative music (a cover of Roky Erickson's "White Faces" completes the inspirational circle). And we haven't even mentioned perhaps the band's greatest asset yet: mysterious female singer, F. The Mouth of Satan, whose hauntingly multi-tracked wail and downright weird vocal timbre gives the Devil's Blood a certain je ne sais quoi arguably not witnessed in the heavy metal world since as far back as Mercyful Fate's initial creations. As essential as Satan himself.

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