Releasing your sophomore album can be a daunting task. Especially when your first is number one on the New Zealand charts for four straight weeks. That’s what happened with Hamilton’s alternative metallers Devilskin with their debut We Rise. The independently released album took the country by storm and now, two years later, they follow it up with the much anticipated Be Like The River.
Be Like The River starts with In Black, a track which kicks into heavy rock territory immediately and would be a killer song to see live. Front-woman Jennie Skulander‘s vocals are powerful and demand all of your attention. As the album plays on Skulander shows more versatility in her vocal range; from the mellower tracks like Closer and Animal to the screams in tracks like Believe In Me and FYI. What also quickly takes your attention is the drumming. Nic Martin joined Devilskin five years ago as a 15-year-old. The son of bassist Paul “The Axeman” Martin (a man known for his long-running NZ radio show The Axe Attack as well as playing in various metal bands) Nic has quickly shown why he joined the band at such a young age. He has the confidence of someone far beyond his years and, along with guitarist “Nail”, the band’s sound is massive, heavy and in your face.
It’s hard to pick any favourite songs on Be Like The River. Each track is so unique and stands out in its way. What is amusing, however, is how the album comes to an end with the title track from their debut album We Rise. I recently interviewed Paul Martin, and he told me the track didn’t make the first album, but they decided to put it on this one. He also said the band did write a song called Be Like The River which didn’t make this album but would most likely feature on album number three. That could become an interesting trend if it continues.
Be Like The River has just gone number one in New Zealand and it’s not hard to see why. The album grabs your full attention from the very first track and doesn’t let go until long after the last Angela Gossow-esque scream of We Rise. The best bit is – it gets better and better with each listen. Hopefully, Devilskin can now start to conquer Australia and get some more recognition across the Tasman.
You can catch Devilskin on tour in Australia supporting Halestorm in 2017
GET TICKETS!Jan. 10th – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Jan. 11th – Factory Theatre, Sydney
Jan. 12th – Triffid, Brisbane
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