Over their six years on the road, The Devils have steadily made a name for themselves as one of the more provocative bands roaming Europe. And it’s not this Neapolitan duo’s live schtick of a latex and fishnet-clad, black dildo-wielding blasphemer nun and a deviant priest that’s the sole provocative factor; their music sounds like a banshee scream coupled with a chainsaw cutting through ice and an AK-47 firing rounds.
Signing with the Voodoo Rhythm Records in 2015, the band quickly released two albums within a year from each other and embarked on extensive tours across Europe with some fly-in Canadian dates. Their initial two records, Sin, You Sinners! & Iron Butt, captures their music in its most feral form with notable engineer Jim Diamond, tracking the duo’s fuzz-laden heavy blues and 250 BPM Gatling gun drum work.
The compact songwriting on both LPs adheres to the hit-it-and-quit-it formula, with ten tracks on each album clocking in at a skintight range of just less than 20 minutes. Four years after Iron Butt’s release and now on the Goodfellas label, The Devils return in a more mature and refined state with their third LP, Beast Must Regret Nothing.
This band’s refinement is due to their recruitment of revered producer Alain Johannes to direct the album’s production and incorporate actual melody and new arrangements into The Devil’s songwriting. The result of this partnership is Johannes preserving their B-movie aural aesthetic while leaning the duo towards a more self-controlled punk rock sound.
Beforehand, The Devils were just absolute sonic violence caught on tape; now there’s some swagger to the noise. Beast Must Regret Nothing clocks in at nearly 30 minutes and aims to appeal to a broader audience with their new form. However, they still hold on to their foundational, bludgeoning garage punk sound as not to alienate the audience they’ve cultivated over their six-year run. Case in point, the album opener, “Roar,” displays the band’s classic raucous style only in sleeker production with an emphasis on Gianni Vessella’s tight guitar mix and Erica Toraldo’s even tighter drum mix. With “I Appeared To The Madonna,” Toraldo trades in her machine-like battery rhythm for a swing groove, and her vocals display a harmony range outside of the usual snarling heard in their older catalog.
“Real Man” pushes this change in her approach further with Toraldo’s sultry vocal approach over Vessella’s sleazed out blues chords. Their concluding title track is the peak of their new direction, with the band leaning towards an alternative rock rhythm and flow, with Johannes on lead vocals and Toraldo providing backing harmonies.
As different as some of the songs are on this album, the band keeps a misanthropic edge throughout. The duo’s death march groove coupled with Mark Lanegan’s doomsday-laden vocals makes “Devil Whistle Don’t Sing” one of the standout numbers on this album. The classic, violence-grandeur songwriting featured on the band’s last two LPs re-appear with “Life Is A Bitch” sounding as if the track is a castaway from the Iron Butt sessions Toraldo’s thrashing drums and enraged vocals coupled with the landslide guitar work from Vessella. And speaking of Vessella, he gets a moment in the vocal spotlight on the high-octane track “Roll With Me.”
Beast Must Regret Nothing is a new, refined chapter in the evolution of Toraldo and Vessella’s songwriting yet their uncompromising attitude and abrasive nature are still intact. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp.