If you like your metal slow-paced, orchestral, and gothic, jam-packed with epic soundscapes and melodic operatic voices duelling with heavy growls, then look no further than Devilment’s latest album The Mephisto Waltzes. This British black metal quintet manage to meld together the grim darkness of black metal with the melancholic melodies of gothic metal. Fronted by the legendary Dani Filth, The Mephisto Waltzes has a unique sound that stands out from other modern heavy metal. The whole album sounds like some sort of black metal symphony.
The tone for the album is well and truly set by the first track, “Judas Stein”, where guitarist Colin Parks plays slow riffs in a groove until he lets loose in an insane and brilliant solo. Drummer Matt Alston introduces the track with a solo, tribal sounding beat, reappearing throughout the song. Dani Filth of course brings a stellar performance, screaming and maniacally laughing throughout. This track draws you in, and shows you exactly what a treat you’re in for.
Something you don’t expect from a black metal band is keyboards. Heavy metal and electronic music are natural enemies, but the integration of a more electronic sound works surprisingly well. Keyboardist Lauren Francis shows off her skills in “Dea Della Morte”, providing a sound that would otherwise leave The Mephisto Waltzes missing something. The piano riffs add a feeling that the whole album is much larger, much grander, and an overall hypnotic sound which is continued throughout the album.
Fear not, Devilment are not some a boring orchestral group you’d hear on BBC 4 on a Sunday, they still manage to bring the metal, and they bring it hard. “Shine on Sophie Moone” begins with a heavy, dirty sounding guitar riff, filled with distortion before evolving in to a groovy riff that you can’t help but bang your head to. The track then slows it’s pace for Filth to whisper a dark tale of murder in to your ear, showing off his known love for theatrics. Filth’s savage growls and shouts throughout this album are complimented perfectly by the sweet tones of Francis, who doubles as a backing singer and features prominently across the album.
The Mephisto Waltzes proves Devilment have only improved since their last release. A cacophony of operatic singing, heavy guitars, symphonic pianos, inhuman growls, and horror overtones, The Mephisto Waltzes is definitely not an album to let pass by.