A routine fixture on the UK scene for the last decade, Devil Sold His Soul were propagating their atmospheric post-metal wall of sound much earlier than most, but there is no doubt that the band have never quite achieved the recognition their prescience deserved.
Things are changing now, however, as the arrival of new vocalist Paul Green – who replaced original singer Ed Gibbs in 2013 – seems to have rejuvenated the whole enterprise, resulting in a new EP, Belong ╪ Betray, that adds fresh textures and a renewed sense of purpose to the band’s evocative barrage.
“This is the first real thing we’ve done since I joined,” says Paul. “We could’ve rushed something out earlier but I’m glad we let songs come out when they were ready. There’s diversity on this EP, which I’m really happy about. The band have been through rough times, with Ed leaving and missing out on a tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan because Ben [Weinman, DEP guitarist] broke his thumb. That stuff can drag you down and I think that melancholy really comes across in these songs. It hasn’t been the easiest ride.”
Two years on from the release of their third studio album, Empire Of Light, DSHS clearly feel that they have some lost ground to make up, but as Paul is swiftly being welcomed by their loyal fanbase, the band are grasping the opportunity to embrace change and begin a new, more focused chapter. With plans for more new material to emerge in 2015, these devoted sonic explorers may yet reap the rewards of their endeavours.
“There was a lull for a while and the wind was taken out of our sails a bit, but now it’s positive again,” Paul smiles. “The recent show at London’s Underworld was brilliant. The crowd were going nuts and some of the hardcore fans have said it was the best show they’ve seen us play. For me, it did feel a bit like Ed Gibbs karaoke for a while, and I’m sure some people were thinking, ‘Who’s this guy? Where’s the real singer?’ but now the new songs are in the set, they all feel like mine now. It feels good. We’re a well-oiled machine right now!”
BELONG ╪ BETRAY IS OUT NOW VIA BASICK/o:p