You fools cannot possibly be ready for the newest offering from Philadelphia metalpunk overlords, DEVIL MASTER. Even if you foolheartedly believe in yourself, this record will sink its claws into you and drag you down into the arcane depths of the beyond. The riffs are hypnotic, the drums are crushing, the vocals are blood-curdling, and the atmosphere is chilling.
The entity known as DEVIL MASTER burst forth onto our mortal realm in 2016 and have been wreaking havoc ever since. They are unstoppable, and now after signing to RELAPSE RECORDS, have an even bigger audience to bewitch and devour. Their prowess comes as no surprise to those who know of the related web of bands, including BLANK SPELL, CAPE OF BATS, INTEGRITY, THE DRIP (a short-lived Philadelphia punk band, not the grind band of the same name), LOW CHARGE, S-21, and others; but even with all of that, they stand on their own, apart from their other efforts.
Something that’s funny to me is how so many people erroneously (and lazily) liken them to G.I.S.M. and Christian Death (because dark metalpunk = G.I.S.M. and chorus pedal = Christian Death, I guess), but they have much more in common with bands such as CROW, SEX MESSIAH, 集団自殺 (SYUDAN JISATSU), DEATH SIDE, MORTUARY DRAPE. CRUDE, BASTARD, VLAD TEPES, BLACK MURDER, BELKETRE, ZOUO, SLANG, and MOBS among others, with their sound sitting right in the middle of all that thrashing chaos.
Satan Spits On Children Of Light sees DEVIL MASTER at their fiercest. Even with a much cleaner recording than their previous efforts, they maintain a raw energy which many punk and metal bands lose with this kind of production. It may sound obvious, but a lot of the time it really does come down to songwriting and execution that can make or break a band in a studio setting, and I doubt they brought the candelabras and cobwebs in with them to record, even if they most certainly brought the same attitude that they do to the stage (or floor as has been the case most of the times that I’ve seen them).
Label: Relapse Records Pre Order ‘Satan Spits on Children of Light’ Here!
There is a fine line between gimmick and putting on a show — gimmicks exist as a mask to take the place of substance (*cough* NYC and the midwest *cough*), while putting on a show enhances what’s already there by adding a visual dimension. Had bands such as MISFITS, PHAIDIA, CHRISTIAN DEATH, BALZAC, etc sucked, we would probably look back on them very differently than we do. I think that it’s fair to say DEVIL MASTER will stand the test of time (even if they may not necessarily gain the same notoriety as the aforementioned bands) because they are doing something truly memorable on all fronts.
The way all of you play, it feels as if DEVIL MASTER is the sort of band you’ve wanted to be in for ages. How long had doing something like this been in your minds? How did it feel to finally bring those dark dreams to fruition?
Darkest Prince: We had all talked about making a band worshipping the likes of Zouo for a few years before Hades Apparition finally recruited us for his envisioned ‘Devil Master’ around Halloween of 2015. We had been friends for years and to see it come to fruition alongside each other was something very powerful, though it would be lies to say we weren’t doing originally doing it solely for ourselves and were pretty overwhelmed and the initial response.
The addition of synths/keys makes a lot of sense to me, but many might think it is somewhat unusual for the style of music you’re playing. What led you to bring on this change?
DP: The piano on the demo was from recordings Spirit Mirror had played with a while before, and the piano on Inhabit the Corpse was conjured up by her for that specific release. These elements were to add a cinematic, conceptual sound which we are familiar with in everything from horror movies to say Mayhem’s Deathcrush. Adding Dodder, a classically trained pianist and good fiend on our same wavelength was a conscious decision to take this horror to the next level and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.
Your musical influences are pretty much worn on your sleeves, but I’d like to know about other influences you have. What specific areas of the occult have influenced DEVIL MASTER’s lyrics and general aesthetics? Are there any writers, practices, or texts in particular that you draw from the most? And for the cinematography in your music videos, what artists/directors/etc have given you inspiration? A while ago Spirit Mirror talked with me about the video for MIGHTY SPHINCTER’s “Ghost Walking,” but I’d like to hear more.
DP: Whilst being the only practicing Satanist who does not write the lyrics, I can only speak so much for Disembody’s style… but I can say they come from a genuine twisted, sardonic and carefree melancholy not unlike Baudellaire, Rimbaud or Lautreomaunt (French decadent Satanism being my personal favorite!). I did take the album title from an obscure grimoire which caused some sensation during the Satanic Panic. Mighty Sphincter’s “Ghost Walking” is the most amazing musick video ever recorded, and it will be an eternal influence. Kenneth Anger is also one of course, whilst our video turned out more like an old Hammer Horror movie which was also welcomed. Using the expressionist films Carnival of Souls and The Vampyr for videos was a life long dream achieved also. Dario Argentos films have been a mutual influence for all of us and I will personally, finally add Kinski’s Nosferatu as my main life inspiration.
How did a label like RELAPSE approach you? I know that you made waves from day one, but so have all of the other bands you’ve all been involved with. What was different this time? Did you sign in blood, or just regular ink?
DP: Being based in Philadelphia, our now good friends at Relapse witnessed us opening for some bigger acts such as label mates Mammoth Grinder and approached us to our delight, having turned down a few labels before this. Obviously our other bands don’t put on as much of a show and I would say the combined energies in this band from day one has made it stand out from our other projects. Some of us may have actually signed in blood…
I’ve read some pretty hilariously misinformed things about you, your sound, and your overall aesthetic (one of my personal favorites is that you share members with ZORN). Are there any reviews that you can think of which got it so wrong that it stood out to you?
DP: From people calling us hipsters, to teenagers, to thinking we don’t bow in allegiance to the Prince Himself more than most goat fucking posers… none of it is ever of any relevance besides being a little amusing so none really stand out.
What should the mortal realm expect from DEVIL MASTER in the foreseeable future?
DP: More touring, more cobwebs, more canticles!
03/01: Richmond, VA – Chicken Fiesta
03/02: Greensboro, NC- Fantasy
03/03: Atlanta, GA – The Earl
03/04: Birmingham, AL – Below
030/6: Houston, TX – Dan Electro’s
03/07: Austin, TX – Barracuda
03/08: Dallas, TX – Regal Room
03/09: Oklahoma City, OK – Mothership Connection
03/11: Chicago, IL – Ranchos Huevos
03/12: Toronto, ON – Coalition
03/13: Ottawa, ON – Pour Boy
03/14: Montreal, QC – La Plante
03/15: New York City, NY – Sabbat’s Lair
03/16: Montclair, NJ – The Meatlocker
03/17: Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA (Record Release Party)
04/11 – 04/14: Washington, D.C. – Damaged City Fest
04/12: Philadelphia, PA – Decibel Metal & Beer Fest – The Foundry
04/13: Cleveland, OH – The Phantasy
04/18: Washington, D.C. MD – Atlas Brew Works
06/01: Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
06/02: Indianapolis, IN – Hi-Fi
06/03: Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
08/16-18: Las Vegas, NV – Psycho Las Vegas