Nod to the Oldest of Schools: Devil from Norway

Let’s face it: Devil??? Booooring moniker, one could say, but on the other hand, it’s short, simple and what’s best: memorable – and nobody talks about triteness when it comes to Ghost, Skullfist, Satan (actually, NWOBHM forbids any kind of criticism…) or Destruction (to dig deeply in history…)! So shut up and listen to the brilliant music!

These five Norwegian dudes don’t play True Norwegian Black Metal, as one would come to expect, but worship late 70’s/early 80’s (Proto-)Metal instead. A lot of new bands seem to delve into this thing today, and quite a few with some success (i.e. The Devil’s Blood, Ghost, Witchcraft). Devil will be no exception!

I had the chance to see them live at this year’s edition of the “Hammer Of Doom Festival” in Würzburg, Germany. Being the second band on the Saturday billing, they delivered the goods and managed to attract a considerable crowd in front of the stage. They totally convinced me, too, so I bought their demo-tape and 7” afterwards, as I was too late to pick up their debut album at the merch.

The tape (also available as a 10″) already made it “Demo-tape of the Month” in German magazine RockHard and that is well-deserved! Magister Mundi Xum, as it is called, offers one intro and five cool tracks that summon old-school vibes in an instant. Doom, mid-paced gallop, some uptempo stuff and occult lyrics, you get it all!

The guitars of Stian Fossum and Kai Wanderås hit you straight away with pounding riffs and some great NWOBHMesque leads and Thomas Ljosåk’s bass complements these perfectly, being upfront in the mix. The drums by Ronny Østli are tight and rumble away in early 80’s Venom style. Singer Joakim Trangsrud doesn’t have a wide range, but that doesn’t matter that much as he delivers the sometimes whacky, but occult lyrics in a fitting manner. The production really lets this tape shine, as it catches the spirit of early Pentagram or even Cirith Ungol and combines it with the roughness of Venom.
After the somewhat funny intro (“creepy” atmosphere and horses nickering…), the A-side kicks in with two headbangers that cry out for a pint of beer in one’s hand! My favorite track is on the B-side, however: “Time to Repent”, as it features a nifty wahwah-interlude.
Overall, a very persuasive demo that leaves you stunned and full of anticipation for the first full length due !

Tracklist:
The Arrival
At The Blacksmith’s
Spirit Of The Cult
Time To Repeat
I Made A Pact…
Welcome The Devil

The 7” (out on Soulseller Records and limited to 500 copies) contains two songs, “The Noble Savage” and “Blood is Boiling”. The first is exclusive to this release, the latter is also present on the forthcoming album .
Featuring a slightly better production than the demo-tape, the songs still hold the vibes that made the tape such a little gem.

The A-side is a mid-paced anthem with some cool background vocals during the chorus, while the B-side shows off with a catchy intro-riff reminiscent of early, “classic” Heavy Metal, before speeding up halfway into the song. The solo is beefed up by some rocking on the wahwah-pedal.
Check out the amazing artwork and take notion of the “sun” and “moon” sides instead of A and B!

 

Check out the band’s website and listen to the track “At the Blacksmith’s”:

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2 Responses to “Nod to the Oldest of Schools: Devil from Norway”

  1. The tape looks awesome!

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