10th December 2016
Review by Jarod Lawley
Photography by Graham Hilling
Tonight saw, for the first time after the release of, ‘The Mephisto Waltzes’, Dani Filth’s horror themed metal side project Devilment play in London, at the Boston Music Rooms, which Dani later revealed on stage he last visited as a teenager seeing Autopsy in the early nineties!
Devilment’s second full-length must have gone down well, as when I arrived I saw a long line of metallers of all kinds and ages queuing in the rain to get in!
The doors opened late, but quickly after, Generation Graveyard took forcefully and eagerly to the stage. Unfortunately most of the crowd was still queuing to get in while the horror rockers smashed through their short but effective set list.
Their sound isn’t too original, it’s easy to draw comparisons to ‘The Misfits’ or ‘The 69 Eyes’, but they played their fat crunchy riffs like they meant it and with loads of energy.
They were a lot of fun and in both sound and appearance I think they made an excellent choice to open up.
The five piece had to work with one of the smallest performance areas I’ve ever seen, with Devilment’s drum kit taking up a lot of room on the already tiny stage. But they didn’t let this affect their performance.
The front-man was assertive in getting the crowd involved and he showed real camaraderie, passing the mic around between his band members during the choruses while the guitarists put the effort in with their synchronised headbanging!
The band lost their pace a little with a technical fault, but they quickly regained momentum. By the time their slot had run up, a bunch of people at the front were calling for one more, and I think the death punks impressed everyone.
It’s rare for the first band of the night to be so tight and so energetic, and it set a high bar for She Must Burn to match.
The London metallers should have been another ideal support band for Devilment. They toured with Cradle of Filth last year and combine seriously heavy deathcore riffs with melodic singing.
Every time I see them they’ve put a lot of effort into their performances.
For a mixture of reasons, tonight they just weren’t on form. It didn’t help that the dodgy sound mix made the guitars almost impossible to hear.
Joseph Sinclair is normally a superbly talented vocal gymnast, with shocking screams and scorching growls, but tonight he also struggled. He sounded fairly tame and in fact seemed frustrated with his own performance.
As ever, he worked hard to get the crowd moving but tonight they weren’t so receptive to the performance which just lacked the energy of their usual gigs. Joseph finally got a small pit going towards, but in my opinion, if you have to scream that much for a mosh pit to happen, there’s a reason for it!
The band gave it their all, but tonight things just didn’t come together for these guys.
It was a surprise to see that the room was still only half-full by the time Devilment took to the stage. The Boston Music Room has seating booths along one side of the room which not only offers a good view, but also gives you the chance to chat with the rest of the crowd there!
Speaking to people, everyone was excited to hear material from the 2014 debut ‘The Great and Secret Show’ but especially numbers from the new album.
I was hoping for more stage theatrics, as all we got was a sci-fi looking screen in front of the drums, but when the band walked onto the stage to their orchestral intro tape I think it’s safe to the outfits and make-up looked first rate!
Their sound tonight was a much bigger disappointment. Most of the band sounded heavy but the guitars still needed to be louder in the mix. I don’t think that Devilment’s poppier elements translate well live and to make things worse Lauren’s clean singing failed to hit the right notes a lot of the time.
Dani’s vocals sounded tired, and in fact an embarrassing amount of the growls and screams tonight came pre-recorded through the PA.
Nevertheless, he was still in high spirits – perhaps he had drank some high spirits too? He didn’t take tonight too seriously, dancing on stage and shouting, ‘Who fancies a fucking curry?’ between a couple of the songs!
The set list was poorly paced and it would have been better if the band had opened up with one of their freshest singles such as ‘Hitchcock Blonde’ or ‘Full Dark No Stars’.
It sounded more like the band were on shuffle and the total absence of a light show made it feel like a living room gig.
It makes no sense to me why a band that is so cinematic and theatrical on record would settle for such a poorly thought out performance.
Fortunately the band managed to gain some momentum towards the end. Whether they had been frustrated by the small crowd size or just tired I don’t know, but they gave it a final push and really peaked by the time they return to the stage for an encore.
‘Mother Kali’ got a small mosh pit going and was without a doubt the band’s best performance of the night.
Overall it was a disappointing evening, with all bands except for the opening act performing well under their potential.
If you’ve enjoyed She Must Burn or Devilment’s latest releases then don’t be dissuaded by going out to support them live again, but tonight, almost everything fell totally flat for me.