Devil Sold His Soul

Album Review: Devil Sold His Soul – Empire of Light

It’s September, which means summer is officially over. It’s time to put away those pop-punk songs, radio-friendly alternative anthems, and prepare yourself for the colder months, because winter is coming. And the thing about winter is that it suits the mood perfectly for that most majestic genre – post-metal.

With ISIS gone and Cult of Luna’s patience-trying approach to creating their new album, there’s a void that has to be filled, and Devil Sold His Soul have, with ‘Empire Of Light’, stepped up and over that void to become major contenders in a genre typically owned by those on the mainland. The English bunch lack the bleak soundscapes found in their Scandinavian counterparts’ music, but they make up for it in astral sounding vocal melodies and slow burning guitar progdevil sold his soul empire of lightressions.

The first thing that really strikes you listening to ‘Empire Of Light’ though is just how accessible it is. At 11 tracks and running for just under an hour, there are no outlandishly long songs, yet each track has enough space to breathe and properly take flight before the next one comes along to take you on another journey. It’s very easy to listen to Ed Gibbs’ passionate vocal delivery and get lost in his voice, guiding you through the album one step at a time. The vocal melodies don’t always end how you want them to, but they end how you need them to.

That’s not to say this a heavy-free zone. ‘VIII’ in particular is a headbanger of monumental proportions, yet manages to add more beauty to the overall narrative. Elsewhere, there are little things that are so subtle and will take a sharp ear to appreciate, yet they are key to understanding the majesty of ‘Empire Of Light’ – the last chord in ‘The Verge’ will give you shivers and make you feel at peace, before the sprawling ‘End of Days’ grabs your hand for one more go.

In this reviewer’s opinion ‘Empire Of Light’ is one of the best releases this year – it has been a long time since listening to a whole album in one sitting felt so satisfying on every repeated listen. There is a perfect mix of everything, from post-metal structures to elegant vocal hooks that will keep you entranced listen upon listen. In a word – stunning.

Rating: 9/10


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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