REVIEW: DEVILMENT – “II – The Mephisto Waltzes”
Mephisto, or Mephistopheles, is one of the chief demons of German literary tradition. With this in mind, when we talk about ‘The Mephisto Waltzes’ what we are actually talking about is dancing with a Devil of sorts, and what better way is there to describe any encounter with the works of Mr. Dani Filth and his band of ghouls. Devilment are excited as they gear up for the release of their second album, the follow up to 2014’s ‘The Great And Secret Show’, with ‘II The Mephisto Waltzes’ on November 18 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
From the opening moments in “Judas Stein” we are met with a more mature sound from Devilment coupled with a darker edge and a lyrical context that has raised its game in versatility. This is no once off encounter as these traits splinter throughout, resurfacing continuously and highlighting the bands growth. “Hell At My Back” tests the water with the anthemic. No stranger to hand picking up and coming artists to tour with, the choices in tempo changes and synth sounds are reminiscent of that of Motionless In White, a rising group of goth rockers Filth is intimately familiar with from having collaborated with in the past.
The record was taken on with a “two hands on the whole deck” approach by a close friend of the band and long term collaborator with Cradle of Filth, Scott Atkins who produced, recorded, mixed and mastered the album in its entirety. In some cases a one man job such as this can be a risky business, however Atkins knowledge of the band and its direction only further complements the finished result. Examples of this can be heard particularly in tracks such as “Hitchcock Blonde” and “Shine On Sophie Moone” which see some of the finest moments that stem from this close knit collaboration. There is still much of the signature Dani and Cradle sound in the mix which one might wonder whether this is a “go to” comfort zone for the group and producer alike or a conscious decision as it might feel alien without. We all know and love the piercing shrieks blended with the blasting tones, though this record begs the question, if they can do this, what else can they do?
When all is said and done, Devilment have far from lost the chaos in their sound. Instead, their latest efforts hold their roots close to home while allowing them to grow and become more refined. Fans will not be disappointed and, in truth, ‘II The Mephisto Waltzes’ acts as a great welcome mat for the yet to be converted and will go a long way to opening the door for new legion members to come and dance with the Devilment.