Devilment's track-by-track guide to II: The Mephisto Waltzes


Suffolk gothic metallers Devilment are primed and ready to unleash their second full-length II: The Mephisto Waltzes on November 18. Following on from 2014’s horror circus The Great And Secret Show, the new record is another foray into the world of all things nasty with copious references to horror movies and mortality.

Here, frontman Dani Filth and keyboardist Lauren Francis guide us through the album in its entirety.


Lauren Francis: “The great and honourable Colin Parks (lead guitarist) came up with the guitar part. A lot of songs have been dissected and changed quite dramatically, but this one was really well put together by him to begin with and I figured out the synths quite quickly. There is a riff in there that got slightly rejigged, but the music came quite swiftly. It flowed well and just felt like a song to begin with.

Dani Filth: “It’s straight to the point. Actually the ‘bookends’ to the album are quite thrashy, in between they’re more laboured – even the punky song has a weird mid-section. Lyrically it’s an amalgam of Judas and Frankenstein, it’s the ultimate scapegoat, a magnet for all our worldly sins.”

Hitchcock Blonde

Dani: “It’s all about Alfred Hitchcock’s infatuation with leading ladies – in fact we actually list them, which was handy, as it saved me writing a load of stuff ha ha.”

Lauren: “The music actually was from Sam [S Junior, guitar], the original guitars came from him and then we did a lot of chatting over the phone. I work really well with Sam…”

Dani: “Sam is the guitarist from Savage Messiah. That song is the obvious single choice as it’s not typical of the album, which is why it wasn’t the first track, it’s a bit Rob Zombie-ish…”

Lauren: “It’s still totally Devilment though, it feels like Devilment.”

Dani: “Oh totally. We had to reign everything in in the studio and say, ‘That’s getting a little bit too thrash. Or too Mariah Carey…”

Lauren: “…You do tend to try and sing like Mariah Carey.”

Dani: “Yeah, I was talking about me there. You’re Pariah Carey… Pariah Hairy.”

Under The Thunder

Dani: “Although to all intents and purposes it’s a very simplistic song, the chorus is an amalgamation of two different choruses. We had a different chorus, totally rewrote it, then spliced them together.”

Lauren: “We decided to rewrite the guitars for the track in the studio, and then we weren’t sure about that so I went home and worked on piano melodies there, then Dani wanted the original vocal lines… and this was in the final hour.”

Dani: “We wanted an album where we would cut the wheat from the chaff… if that makes any sense.”

Lauren: “We didn’t want to settle, we wanted to be fearless and be able to change things at the eleventh hour if needed.”

Dani: “We put this one forward [as a lyric video] because Metallica put their shittest video forward ha ha ha. It has to be something that encapsulates everything. If it’s the lyric video, it won’t be your best song. You save that for the big reveal!”

Full Dark, No Stars

Lauren: “Musically that’s an effort of mine and Colin, the main guitar line and the main piano line.”

Dani: “It’s quite female vocal-heavy. Normally when we come up with the female vocal part, she’ll do a ‘la la la’, but this time she wrote some lyrics. First time in my career. Normally – no offence ladies – but it’s usually about unicorns or fluffy toys or ‘I like squirrels’, but this time I thought, ‘Actually this is pretty decent’, so we wrote a song around it. I’m going to really suffer in the publishing…”

Lauren: “Yeah, I usually come up with the melody and say to him, ‘Can you write some lyrics?’”

Shine On Sophie Moone

Dani: “This was a Temple Of The Black Moon song – until Rob [Caggiano] joined Volbeat and the manager said no! I’m not being bitter about it at all ha ha ha! This song is sort of a story of fan-obsession driven to the point of fanaticism. A celebrity stalker. It’s a strange song, it’s one of the first we wrote and it’s kind of punky, but my favourite part is where it descends into the weird part in the middle.”

Lauren: “On the last album on Living With The Fungus, we have a strange piano break and we really liked that and talked about how we wanted something like that on this album…”

Dani: “It goes off at a complete tangent. The song is about infatuation; the narrator is infatuated with a character called Sophie Moone, and that part of the song signals a descent into madness.”

Life Is What You Keep From The Reaper

Lauren: “This was another collab with Sam.”

Dani: “It’s not really a collab, he was in the band at the time!”

Lauren: “Yeah , ha ha. When I was writing synths, this song and JudasStein were the songs I instantly locked the sound down on, I didn’t need to try different samples. Part of the songwriting is writing the melodies and then you have to go into the tones because sometimes the guitars cover all the frequencies. We also didn’t want to go too piano-heavy or too synth-heavy because that’s not really what this band is…”

Dani: “…it was about drawing a fine balance. We didn’t want to go ‘vagina metal’ – it’s a term!”

Dea Della Morte

Dani: “That’s where the album cover came from. The women that did the artwork, we were going to use her for [Cradle Of Filth album] Manticore And Other Horrors, but we had an internal dispute within the band and ended up with the worst album cover ever, which looks like a gothic version of the Next catalogue ha ha. ‘Dea Della Morte’ means ‘Goddess of Death’ and that’s how we chose the cover picture.”

Lauren: “The music on this one is quite complicated.”

Dani: “The chorus was rewritten about – and I don’t want to exaggerate – a billion times.”

Lauren: “The original chorus I wrote on piano and we liked it, but we always felt something wasn’t right, so eventually we made another chorus.”

Dani: “There’s one song on every album that you want to give up on, but someone wants to persevere with it and tells you ‘It will be the best song on the album’.”

Lauren: “I believed in it from the off.”

Dani: “It was awful. Your original chorus was awful…”

Lauren: “You loved it…”

Dani: “I didn’t love it, did I fuck.” Anyway, long story short, this song was a complete headache, changed completely.”

Entangled In Our Pride

Dani: “I accidentally sent this song to someone. I had a group on Yousendit and I clicked send and then it was too late…”

Lauren: “…He did it twice as well!”

Dani: “I tried to close the browser, but it was too late! I was out ripping pipes from Virgin out the street…!”

Lauren: “There were edits on that song…”

Dani: “But these are quibbles that everybody has in the studio…”

Lauren: “Yeah but I think it was more or less ready…”

Dani: “…Except you Lauren, that’s the quibble other bands don’t have.”

Hell At My Back

Dani: “It’s like the first song… but at the end. It’s quite thrashy. That song was sounding like Metallica and Iron Maiden and even though I loved it to bits – that’s literally what Iron Maiden aren’t doing anymore – it didn’t sound like Devilment. Scott [Atkins, producer], said ‘Yeah… but it’s not the band is it?’”

Lauren: “The guitars were really different for this song stylistically, I put some synths on it and there were parts without synths and Scott said, ‘We need to tie this in to make it a bit more Devilmenty, so we need that synth element to reign it in’. The two things together means it doesn’t stray.”

Dani: “The funny thing is that someone asked me recently, ‘Do you put in the female vocals to sell more records?’ and that song was supposed to have female vocals and then Scott said, ‘You don’t want to overdo it’. The chorus was going to be doubled up but we didn’t want to make it too sugary. That was the process of the album, we wrote too much.”

Devilment’s new album II: The Mephisto Waltzes is out November 18, via Nuclear Blast.

They will tour the UK from December 6-19.

Cradle Of Filth: Dani Filth's Guide To Life