Dutch band The Devil's Blood really caused a bit of a stir with their 2009 debut The Time of No Time Evermore, quickly becoming the darlings of retro lovers worldwide. I have to admit, while the debut was a fun record, I didn't really get what all the hoopla was about. Now here we are a few years later and their follow-up The Thoudsandfold Epicentre has been thrust upon us, and you know what, I'm still not 100% feelin' it.
But, let's give credit where credit is due. Rather than regurgitate the requisite Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, or Led Zeppelin tribute that so many other retro styled bands do these days (not that there's anything wrong with that), The Devil's Blood instead take late 60's and early 70's psychedelia and hard rock as their framework and serve it up with a trippy flair. What really gives them a unique sound are the female vocals, which can remind a little of Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, or The Mamas & the Papas, and some of the music has that mix of folk and hard rock like the early Scorpions albums. "Die the Death" is a cool little sing along track, while "On the Wings of Gloria" and "Within The Charnel House Of Love" feature more extended musical passages to go along with the soaring vocals. Not really metal, not really prog, but certainly psychedelic with some hard rock muscle. "Cruel Lover" contains some of the albums heaviest guitar riffs, and also some of the most varied musical textures (the vocals are intoxicating), while "She" sparkles with plenty of lead guitar fireworks. The quirky nature of "Fire Burning" reminded me of Blue Oyster Cult, and the epic "The Madness Of Serpents" has some doom, psychedelic, and NWOBHM influences, and features some trippy keyboard effects to go along with crushing riffs and floating vocals.
Though I'm still not ready to proclaim The Devil's Blood as saviors of vintage sounding classic rock, The Thousandfold Epicentre is a lot of fun taken for what it is, and the band is on to something quite a bit different than other bands of this ilk. This CD is trippy, adventurous, rocks hard in spots, but most of all, it's fun and honest. For all that I tip my hat to them.
01. Unending Singularity
02. On The Wings Of Gloria
03. Die The Death
04. Within The Charnel House Of Love
05. Cruel Lover
07. The Thousandfold Epicentre
08. Fire Burning
09. Everlasting Saturnalia
10. The Madness Of Serpents