Album Review: Amigo the Devil – Yours Until The War Is Over

4.5/5

Amigo the Devil exists on the fringes—and he likes it that way. His music dives deep into the underbelly of society. It looks bravely into the face of humanity’s flaws and finds meaning in tragedy. On past albums, that meant walking in the shoes of some of the world’s most infamous killers. But Amigo the Devil’s latest full-length release, Yours Until The War Is Over, proves that the mind behind the project, Danny Kiranos, has plenty of his own darkness to inspire his craft.

In true Amigo the Devil fashion, Kiranos uses his sharp wit and flair for the macabre to immerse listeners in his dark soundscapes with a sinister smile. Following in the tradition of lyrical storytelling pioneered by great American folk singer-songwriters like Arlo Guthrie and John Prine, he walks a fine line between depressingly dark sentiment and laugh-out-loud humor.

Yours Until The War Is Over contains all of the earmarks that have defined Amigo the Devil’s catapult to success. His distinctive banjo picking is ever-present. Musically, Amigo the Devil is a master of using melody to set the tone for each track. But most notably, Kiranos’ vocals command attention, drawing listeners into each lyric and immersing them in wonderfully crafted narratives. Fans have already had a taste of the album with early releases like “Cannibal Within” and “Once Upon A Time At Texaco (Pt. 1)“. But the release of the full album offers even more to chew on.

Much like Dorian Gray’s infamous portrait, Amigo the Devil’s lyrics are beautifully captivating. But beneath the surface, lies something much darker—at times even sinister. Once they’ve pulled you in, it’s far too late to attempt to escape—Kiranos’ lyrics will haunt you forever once you’ve heard them.

While past records explored the infamous misdeeds of others, Yours Until The War Is Over finds Amigo the Devil grappling with more existentialist fears and questions. “It’s All Gone” explores the morality of survival. The track posits a scenario in which a naval commandant and a cannibal encounter each other on an island. It forces listeners to grapple with the moral questions that only those vying to survive on a deserted island face. This scene is interesting enough on its own. But only Amigo the Devil can tactfully flip the script. And it isn’t long before he reveals the two survivors are cut from the same cloth. In the end, listeners are left to their own devices to answer the questions Amigo the Devil poses at the outset of the track:

“Does the hammer hit harder with a purpose?
Is it driven by the fear of the nail?”

Later on, “Garden of Leaving” finds Amigo the Devil exploring tragedy by looking in on the lives of a couple in the throes of grief after the sudden loss of a child. Stripping down the instrumentals to the bare bones of an acoustic guitar, Kiranos’ lyricism takes center stage. The song paints a devastating portrait of suffering and heartache that finds a mother “howling in the corner.” Meanwhile, doors cry and the very walls of the couple’s home seem to grieve along with them.

Amigo The Devil

Though much of the lyrical content is masochistically macabre, Yours Until The War Is Over isn’t all doom and gloom. Parts of his mind may be twisted, but Amigo the Devil knows better than most how to roll with the punches. And he always finds humor in the darkness. For instance, “I’m Going To Heaven” finds our central figure on a mission to avenge his lost love. The mission takes him to the great beyond. But our lovelorn hero doesn’t get the revenge he seeks in the afterlife. Instead, he emerges from a K-hole to discover it was all a ketamine-fueled dream.

Amigo the Devil elevates his status as a songwriter with his own sharp wit and literary references that expand beyond his prior lyrical fixation on true crime. He fleshes out characters and tells full-length stories in the few minutes it takes each song to reach its conclusion. Kiranos’ robust vocals capture the raw energy he exudes on stage in his live shows and bring the songs and their characters to life. Amigo the Devil leaves much open to interpretation. Consequently, he allows listeners to discern the true meaning of each song for themselves.

Yours Until The War Is Over is out now via Liars Club Records in partnership with Regime Music Group.

Amigo the Devil

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