Monday, June 10, 2013

Review of "III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars" by The Devil's Blood

Buy this album
(link avaiable Tuesday)

1. I Was Promised a Hunt
2. The Lullaby of the Burning Boy
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

The Devil's Blood announced at the beginning of 2013 that they have "returned to nothingness." At the same time, they announced that plans had already been put into motion to release new material. The new seven song album, III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars, will serve as the band's final full-length release. A new track, White Storm of Teeth, has been made available for streaming at, where fans can also pre-order the album, and view the art, which was done by Manuel Tinnemans. III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars will be available for purchase on iTunes April 30th, via all other digital outlets (Google Play, Amazon MP3, etc.) on May 28th, and on CD and vinyl June 11th.

SL comments on the release: "Prior to our disbanding on the 22nd of January 2013 we had been active with the pre-production of what was to be our third album. 7 songs, the complete outline of the album, had been, in humble form, recorded in my home recording studio and these demos were supposed to be the template for our studio recordings. Obviously we would never make it that far and the initial shock of that fact saddened us greatly. After but a few days we listened to this material again and decided that even though the audio quality might not be what people have come to expect from a The Devil’s Blood release, the song material was and is the best we have ever done. We came to the conclusion that these songs deserve to become a part of The Canon and that we would release them as is.

"I spent a few days gathering all the demo material together, made a very simple mix and gave the material to our friend and mentor Pieter G. Kloos to master in his studio. Here we present you with the titles of the material and the artwork which was done by Manuel Tinnemans.

"The song we have chosen to release now is "White Storm of Teeth". More so than the other material this song speaks to the completion and transubstantiation that always follows an Occult path. Not the end of a journey but the start of a completely new one. Built around thirteen stanzas in the first part and thirteen stanzas in the second part the process of inner enlightenment through confusion and entropy and the initiation through the Death of the lower self is illustrated. This theme is rampant throughout the record and its lyrics but here it culminates and completely devours itself. After this work no words are needed and, on the album, none are offered.

"The Devil's Blood has always been an entity that defied any fealty or thankfulness towards any earthly influence. But we as people need not hold to this paradigm any longer. We therefore wish to express our sincere thankfulness to all those who have supported this weird quest and have made the earthly woes to not work against us. You most definitely know who you are.

"The record will be released by Ván Records in Europe and the rest of the World and by Metal Blade in North America. It will be available as digital download, CD and LP starting the 30th of April in Europe and a date soon to be announced in the USA/CAN. With thankfulness and a glad heart filled with the pride of a work well done,

A twenty-two minute long track by the name of “I Was Promised a Hunt” starts off the album. For how I expected this to sound, as they disbanded and never finished the production process of the album, it sounds pretty good. The guitars have a nice slow groove to start things off with quick snare rolls too and the solos are good as always. This is the first time I’ve heard them add male vocals and I think it adds to the feel. It’s a pretty progressive-like track, with slower bits and heavier pieces. The way the guitars and drum flow on “The Lullaby of the Burning Boy” is very catchy and have a nice flow. The use of female and male vocals harmonized gives it a nice sound. After listening to the really long track previously, four minutes felt a little short. The solos on “...If Not a Vessel?” were impressive. The riffs were really great and have a heavy psychedelic feel.

The guitar sounded really great at the beginning of “In the Loving Arms of Lunacy's Secret Demons” with an effect that gave it a lot of twang and then a nice solo followed. The bass was really groovy on this track and the leads added to it as well. “Dance of the Elements” starts off with a nice heavy riff and a catchy bass line, and the about three minutes in it gets mellow with some great lead riffs and solo. After that it picks up again, it’s a great instrumental. The guitars are especially catchy on “White Storm of Teeth” and the beat of the drum that goes with it doesn’t help, although it did get a little repetitive. The louder guitar parts make it hard to hear everything else, but I blame the recordings since they never finished polishing. The riffs and bass are really badass on “Tabula Rasa” and the lead parts are always good, there are impressive solos as well. This track brings a psychedelic end to a good album with an instrumental.

For their final album, I was kind of expecting more. This album could have been better if they actually finished up with it, instead of disbanding and not caring. I feel the volume levels being touched up would have helped. It is a good album, don’t get me wrong, but it sounds rushed production wise and drags it down. Pick this up if you are a fan of the band, but if you want their real talent listen to “The Thousandfold Epicentre.”

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