The debut album by Swedish goth metal duo Devlin is a surprisingly poppy variation on the standard Scandinavian black metal scene. A few tunes, like the opening "Underworld," have the traditional Muppet-voiced male vocals (courtesy of songwriter Marcus Ehlin, also of Siebenburgen), but many of the songs feature female vocalist Lexi, whose rock-chick vocal style has more in common with Suzi Quatro than anyone. Musically, the album has a lighter, poppier tone than one might expect from this relentlessly bleak genre. It's impossible to tell, but the bouncy cover of Billy Idol's "White Wedding," which is no more menacing than the kinda fluffy original, might be intended as parody. Other songs, like the largely acoustic "Queen of Razors" and the power ballad closer "Buried Deep" owe more to '80s pop-metal bands like the Scorpions than to black metal pioneers like Cannibal Corpse. A weird mix of goth pop and basic metal with a few black metal aspects, Grand Death Opening falls between the two schools.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason