Dutch psychedelic occult act The Devil's Blood were quickly becoming the darlings of the whole 'retro hard rock' scene over the last few years before word crept earlier this year that the band was no more, so what we have here with III-Tabula Rasa Or Death And The Seven Pillars is their slightly incomplete third album, which was being worked on at the time of the split. For some, this is going to be not only a tearful farewell, but a hollow way for the band to go out. Fret not though, as there is some really good material to be found here, especially the 22-minute prog/psych/hard rock epic "I Was Promised a Hunt". This one is a must hear for all the '70s lovers out there, as it channels classic acts such as Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Jefferson Airplane, Jethro Tull, and Pink Floyd, with Farida Lemouchi's vocals just soaring all over the place over dark, atmospheric, and sometimes doomy arrangements, punctuated by Selim Lemouchi's tasty guitar work. "The Lullaby Of the Burning Body" is a creepy, haunting slice of dark progressive rock with some metallic guitar riffs, while "..If Not a Vessel?" is more upbeat, filled with screaming guitar solos and fat bass grooves, Farida's voice stabbing in and out of the mix with plenty of venom. Those who prefer the folkier, more psychedelic side of The Devil's Blood will love "In The Loving Arms of Lunacy's Secret Demons", and "White Storm Of Teeth" takes that psychedelic edge into even deeper progressive rock styled waters, with dreamy vocals floating over waves of undulating keyboards & guitars, like a wild meeting of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and Black Sabbath.
Both "Dance of The Elements" and "Tabula Rasa" are fairly lengthy, well composed instrumentals with a healthy dose of prog, heavy rock, and psychedelia, but they sound somewhat incomplete and you have to wonder if vocals were originally meant to be included. Good stuff nonetheless, and if The Devil's Blood indeed go out with this as their final statement, it's not a bad way to walk off into the sunset.
1. Ι Was Promised a Hunt
2. The Lullaby Of the Burning Body
3. ..If Not a Vessel?
4. In The Loving Arms of Lunacy's Secret Demons
5. Dance of The Elements
6. White Storm Of Teeth
7. Tabula Rasa