Devil Sold His Soul - Camden Underworld, London
British prog-metallers Devil Sold His Soul released their latest album Blessed and Cursed last year, and that record marked a distinct improvement in their sound. Blending the more melodic hooks of their post-hardcore past with the crushing, panoramic riffs and soaring keyboards of their tech-metal present they managed to create an album that was at once uplifting and musically pleasing. Tonight’s show in London marks the near-end of their mammoth 21-date headline tour, and the dingy Underworld in Camden is packed to the rafters in appreciation for the South England based band.
Opening to a string-laden intro and into the percussive ambience of ‘Tides’, DSHS start as they mean to go on, with punchy riffs, vicious screams and epic choruses. A highlight comes early in the shape of ‘Drowning / Sinking’, replete with the crowd singing back to vocalist Ed Gibbs with all they have. It’s a moving sight and the band think so too as they humbly thank the audience and then rip into ‘An Ocean of Lights’.
The band play much of the latest full-length, including ‘Crane Lake’ and an absolutely crushing version of ‘The Disappointment’ with its fantastic opening riff and groove providing a bit of a change from the earlier atmospherics. This continues with ‘As The Storm Unfolds’ from A Fragile Hope, the crowd never letting up with the singing and the whole band feeding off them. They even show their dedication in a devastating wall of death during ‘Callous Heart’. Coming back on the stage for a stunning encore of ‘Hope’, it’s clear that the band have never really experienced a show quite like it, the ecstatic reaction shown by their fans truly humbling them.