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Devilskin - Be Like The River album review

New Zealand’s rock sensations prepare to go global

Cover art for Devilment's Be Like The River

“The art of songwriting is back,” declare Devilskin on their website, and it’s a bold claim from a band who clearly don’t lack bravado. Six years in, they’ve had a rapid route to the top in their homeland of New Zealand, where none other than Halestorm will open for them on a national tour in January. The two bands appear well suited.

Devilskin’s second album radiates confidence. It’s slick and classy, alternating between power riffing and more relaxed moments, though melody is omnipresent throughout. Lead singer Jennie Skulander is Devilskin’s star in the making, displaying a full range of tricks on single Pray, whose keyboard-decorated mix of clean and growled delivery registers among the album’s most impressive selections. But such is the consistency of Be Like The River that it’s tough to pull out favourites. Indeed, some of its superior moments are simply too short; Pray, for instance, lasts for marginally over three minutes and the juddering Believe In Me runs for 30 seconds less than that, but that’s just nitpicking. This is Devilishly good.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.