Review by Woody
Midlands melodic metallers Devil’s Dice are new to the scene and ‘Libertarian’ is one of the strongest debuts I’ve ever heard. By melodic metal I mean in the classic sense as their sound veers more towards the highly melodic metal of the eighties than what we would consider as melodic metal today. They share a lot of similarities with bands like Tygers Of Pan Tang and Judas Priest and many bands of the eighties era only I’d say they are slightly more melodic than those comparisons may imply.
They are centred around principal songwriter and guitarist David Clark and alongside fellow guitarist Chris Webb they deliver some wonderfully melodic guitar licks and infectious air guitar inducing metallic riffs. Some may know vocalist Matt Gore from another Midlands metal band The Mighty Wraith and his voice sits perfectly in the mix with Clark’s compositions. Gore has a powerfully melodic voice that adds an extra layer of melodious glory with his smooth style.
The guitar work on ‘Libertarian’ as a whole is immense and amongst the awesome riffs are some delightful solo’s which add an extra edge to enjoy. These solo’s whilst been quite technical are never overly widdly so for those of us myself included who suffer with narcolepsy around guitar histrionics need not panic! There is some truly professional and uber talented guitar work on display here including some spectacular technical stuff which really begs the question why have I never heard of these guitarists before?!
‘Libertarian’ is infectious and instantly enjoyable, it is a classic metal fan boys wet dream but ramp up the melodic nature of those classic bands by ten to generate a real impression of what Devil’s Dice are about. This album should come with a sticker stating air guitars and head banging are mandatory whilst listening.
The style of the album may hark to a style popular in the past and those roots are worn like a badge of honour in the songs but this album is not a throwback and is certainly not dated. Devil’s Dice have stayed true to that style unapologetically but have managed to update that sound for an audience in the here and now to enjoy, pretty loudly, with beer and a neck brace ready.
There are many songs to enjoy and far too many highlights to expose to go into too much depth but I will highlight the album closer which is slightly different to the rest of the album, ‘Matter of Faith’ which sees the band deliver some pure melodic rock joy with its sweeping AOR like chorus and insane guitar hook.
I can’t recommend this album to classic metal and melodic hard rock fans enough. It’s Bang On!
Track Listing: Feed The Flames / Passive Resistance / I Walk Alone / Forbidden Memory / Libertarian / Chameleon (Right About You) / Hour Of The Wolf / Destiny Calling / Hangin’ On Too Long / The Grudge / Matter of Faith
Album Rating: 9/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Matter of Faith
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