Betzefer: The Devil Went Down To The Holy Land

Israel’s premier metal band get their groove on

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Positioned halfway down the third stage at Download or Sonisphere, Betzefer would offer a decent soundtrack to beer-chugging and bro-downs with their Pantera tribute act stomp, but the fact that the Israeli quartet’s third album in their 15-year history is emerging on a third different label speaks to their inability to truly connect with a fanbase beyond their native land.

Packaged with a DVD featuring an enthusiastically received live set from Tel Aviv, The Devil Went Down To The Holy Land is a sincere, solid collection that’s hard to dislike, but equally hard to love.

The forceful I Hate – which borrows the Max Cavalera Random Lyric Generator for lines such as ‘I hate the police, I hate the state, I hate all countries, and all this shit’ – and the thumping Sledgehammer have a certain lunkheaded charm, but this meat’n’potatoes bar band grooving won’t change any lives, least of all those of the men who created it.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.