We’ll hold our hands up, we at OneMetal are big fans of Devil Sold His Soul and we’re not afraid to admit our love for the 6 underground epic noisemakers. So with this in mind, we’re slightly pissed off that we have had to wait three years for ‘Blessed & Cursed’ to follow on from ‘A Fragile Hope’. With three years of waiting… it had better be good.
Thankfully, we can tell you, after the first listen we are nodding approvingly. The second listen savours the soundscapes and after taste, and at the end of the week it’s very much riding high on the playlist, often serving as a palet cleanser from some of the poorer offerings we have.
‘Blessed & Cursed’ is more mature and more rounded as an album. Ed Gibb‘s throat ripping and barked tones are still present but we also experience soaring and haunting and even sinagalong mainstream choral outbreaks. Musically it’s very familiar sounding with progressive peaks and troughs depicting polar opposites; essentially being blessed and cursed.
This is DSHS functioning as one unit, the last three years have honed the guys into a powerhouse of an epic music machine. Chapple and Renshaw‘s axework is exemplary, perfectly complementing each other, creating multifaceted landscapes over the ridiculously powerful back line of Trotter and Woods. Even Kitney‘s samples have a higher emphasis throughout the record.
It’s all great and it’s all polished, and it’s signature DSHS, but perhaps in that there is a raw edge missing that we saw with ‘A Fragile Hope’. We are being hugely picky and critical here, but ‘Blessed & Cursed’ really doesn’t take any risks, and perhaps it doesnt need to, but there is perhaps a little too much mesmerizing and hypnotising going on and not enough juggernaut thuggery. It is of course a very solid progression and a safe follow up album, and one that DSHS can be very proud of, and it will remain high on our playlist and one that fans will lap up.
DSHS are offering up a massive hope on the British metal scene, and with ‘Blessed & Cursed’ they have matured and grown. It’s not as raw as its predecessor, but does it really need to be?