SMS | Devil Sold His Soul – Loss

A melancholy mood surrounds the listener in the opening moments of Ardour, before the guys unleash into a furiously emotional surge; the main vocals gushing with a lot of heart, making previously bottled up feelings public, and the screams letting loose said feelings in a powerfully hard-hitting manner.

Without wasting a moment, they immediately dive into the next piece, Witness Marks, which keeps the established virtue running high; hell, if not even more so; and it should be noted that the instrumental performances across the board are freaking superb; staggering riffs, echoic basslines and quaking beats of the drums; all of which are accentuated by the phenomenal, utterly crisp production work.

Burdened explodes out of the gates at an immensely stampeding tempo with an indescribable intensity that the blistering, breakneck drumming impressively drives, briefly settling down into a groove before picking it back up for the unreal chorus. As they maintain that strength through Tateishi, the lyrics continue to cut deeply, letting the audience into the inner mind and displaying the harsh mental struggles that are developing and spinning around as a result of the situation.

A trinkle of synths bring in The Narcissist, which is more or less the most straight-forward of this record so far but is still a proper thumper, and that momentum carries through into the equally dynamic Beyond Reach. And then we get yet another insane smash with Signal Fire, where the passion on both sides of the singing reach a palpable all-time high; I don’t know how you couldn’t possibly get serious goosebumps here.

Acrimony is a solid entry, then we get more outstanding writing with But Not Forgotten, which captures the long and hard road to finally reaching acceptance and coming to grips with reality, afterwards following up with a beautiful mark of respect and an ode to cherished memories in the poignant title track to conclude on a lasting note.

It has been years since Devil Sold His Soul treated us to an album, and god damn, you couldn’t have asked for a better return to form than this. Loss is extraordinary, a landmark in the modern metal scene that is so monumental in how much it strikes at your heart and draws you into the events and their effects and how they are responded to.

No amount of words could do justice at all here, it demands to be listened and experienced in person, it’s a flawless opus that makes a significant impression and is certain to stay with you for the foreseeable future.



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