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Other, The: The Devils You Know

I like the combination of words that make up the name of this band and the title of this album. "The Other," of course, usually refers to the 'not me,' the unknowable, that part of the self, or of a culture, that can't be known or that we refuse to acknowledge. "The Devils You Know" raises a similar interpretive perspective. "The Devils," like "The Other," could refer to things we refuse to acknowledge, the evil side of humanity. The other part of the phrase, "You Know," confronts us with the idea that we not only know these things, but that we always have. The result is an endless conflict between the self and the other, the hero and the monster, and several other combinations one could mention. I know, I know; I'm making too much out of all this. Nevertheless, I really like the idea of human beings not always being in a position to recognize all that lies within themselves. This album doesn't deal with all these questions, but each of its gothic-infused anthems implicitly deals with issues of monstrosity, death, dark secrets, and vampirism. It's fun.

With The Devils You Know, my interest in gothic rockómusic that combines the imagery from horror movies and motifs with catchy, hooky, melodies and chorusesówas renewed. For the record, the band calls it horrorpunk. Whatever you call it, I needed it, especially after the recent disappointing release from Vampires Everywhere! The Devils You Know respects its material by using it effectively, without trivializing it beyond recognition.

Musically, the album basically ignites a slow burn that never rages into anything stronger. I didn't mind. The songs were well-written and played with competence and skill. I especially loved thinking about old-school horror movies like Fright Night as I listened to The Others sing about it. I also liked the way they incorporated the main theme from The Phantom of the Opera musical into their song of the same name. Good stuff. My main complaint was that the bulk of the songs were basically variations on a pretty simple theme. The choruses had a fun sing-along quality to them that I'm sure make for some great concert fun. Rod Usher, the band's lead singer, sounds like a friendly Glenn Danzig. His voice is deep and rich and resonant. The Devils You Know works well, but is also arguably a bit long. Nevertheless, listeners really should stay around for the end of the album. "Ewigkeit," the closer, is sung in German and is actually quite lovely. It took on a different character than the rest of the album and made for a fitting conclusion.

Track Listing:
1. The Devils You Know
2. My Home is my Casket
3. Take You Down
4. Skeletons in the Closet
5. Fright Night
6. Puppet on a String
7. In my Veins
8. Nice Day for a Funeral
9. Nightmare on Halloween
10. The Phantom of the Opera
11. Fire from Outer Space
12. Where is Your Saviour Now
13. Hell is a Place on Earth
14. In the Shadows
15. Ewigkeit

Added: July 19th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1629
Language: english

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