Devilment - II - The Mephisto WaltzesIt was a cold day in 2001 when I decided to dive headfirst into Dimmu Borgir. Like many metal fans before me, there is that day you feel obligated to hear Dimmu. And at that time, there was so much hype surrounding them, I had no choice but to check ’em out. The funniest part about it was that I was already a big fan of Cradle of Filth – and it right then that drummer Nick Barker was leaving his English brethren for those studded Norwegians, which was considered blasphemy by the Filthy masses. After diehard CoF fans screamed insults at Barker for jumping ship to Borgir, I couldn’t help but check in on him via Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. I remember being immediately enraptured by the disc and it still represents one of those “right place, at the right time” albums for me. Though I felt ashamed of myself for enjoying the new Dimmu release over the newest CoF release (Midian), my love for these two bands was quick to dwindle with Deathcult Armageddon and Damnation and a DayThough Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth continue to deliver some decent material, I struggle to find that initial pleasure I once felt with releases like Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Spiritual Black Dimensions, Dusk and Her Embrace, and Cruelty and the Beast. But, I recently discovered a musical venture of Dani Filth’s I had no idea existed—one that I am rather enjoying.

After hearing 2014’s debut, The Great and Secret Show, I couldn’t pass up Devilment‘s newest release, II – The Mephisto Waltzes. It’s gothy, it’s groovy, and it’s coated in peeling layers of high-pitched shrieks and gentle female vox. Though the band shares some inevitable similarities with Cradle of Filth, Devilment‘s theatrics are more controlled and their delivery is less over-the-top than CoF. What this means is Devilment are much more accessible than Filth. Which isn’t a bad thing. With it comes a little more variation in the vocals (or maybe they’re just more stripped down?) and a more headbangable delivery. His voice goes well with the music and I think The Great and Secret Show is proof that it works.

Does Filth rasp, growl, and falsetto on the Devilment‘s debut and sophomore release? Well, yeah. But, there’s a different vibe here versus Cradle. Within seconds of the guns a-blazin’ attack from opener “Judas Stein,” you’ll understand exactly what I mean. It’s a groovy track topped with a hooking chorus and riffs that’ll grab you by the balls while Filth screams sweet nothings into your ear (don’t lie, you like it). And, for the most part, the album pretty much rides the rails at the pace of the opener. “Shine on Sophie Moone” and “Life Is What You Keep from the Reaper,” in particular, have some crushing moments that one-up the opener. The one-up-ems come via the songs’ journeys through realms of creeping, whispering vox, alternating male/female vocal arrangements, and loads of key-driven atmospheres. Everything a growing gother needs.

Devilment 2016

Other standout tracks on Waltzes are “Hitchcock Blonde” and “Full Dark, No Stars.” The former track because it kicks ass, the latter song because of its serenity. “Hitchcock Blonde” uses similar vocal accents as the opener, exaggerating each strum and beat, but with the most addictive chorus on the record. It’s also the first track of the album that we get a full dose of Lauren Francis. Her beautiful voice adds layers to her Raunchy-like keyboard work, while acting as a fitting partner to Filth’s barks and shrieks. But “Full Dark, No Stars” is where Francis shines (followed closely by “Entangled in Our Pride”). Gentle key strokes open the track as Francis takes the lead on this roller-coaster ride of emotion. It ascends, it descends, the guitars chug, the piano sings, and a Filth/Francis duet dominates the chorus. It’s nothing new if you are familiar with CoF tracks like “Nymphetamine (Overdose),” but it’s a pleasant song.

The biggest issue I have with II – The Mephisto Waltzes is that it’s not as good as its predecessor. But, in II‘s defense, it’s hard to beat Devilment classics like “Summer Arteries,” “Even Your Blood Groups Reject Me,” “Mother Kali,” and “Sanity Takes a (Perfect) Zero.” We still get those same stomping riffs from the debut, we see even more from Francis, we continue to hear more random instances of Filth-turns-Dez Fafara, and we get our fill of hooks. But, for some reason, it doesn’t work as well as The Great and Secret Show. That being said, this is a still a good album filled with simple filth.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Releases Worldwide: November 18th, 2016

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  • Reese Burns

    Life is What You Keep From the Reaper is one of the best song titles I’ve heard all year.

  • Diego Molero

    I have never bother in listening to Cradle of Filth, not even once for some reason, I always see the name but never took the time to check them out.

    • Ferrous Beuller

      One word: Midian

      • Tiago Fernandes

        Well, ofc not! The Principle is the album… or then Dusk and Her Embrace! Cruelty is still acceptable, but after that…

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I prefer “Cruelty and the Beast”.

        • Alexandre Barata

          Their best is actually VEmpire ;) but I enjoy any from Dusk to Damnation and a Day. After that I just can’t take them anymore

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Just listen to the songs “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids” and “Beneath the Howling Stars” off “Cruelty and The Beast”.. If you don’t like any of them, then it’s likely you’re not going to like anything from CoF.

  • Dr. Wvrm

    Judas Stein? One of Dr. Stein’s funny creatures became a famous rock song, huh.

  • Dr. A.N. Grier
    • Monsterth Goatom

      You old softee you. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Yeah, I’m sweet like that.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          Thanks, although it didn’t get me more depressed. Supposed to be a family holiday, but after my mom died in ’04, I’ve been spending it by myself evey year (my dad doesn’t celebrate holidays – considers them “just another day.”) Some friends had told me they’d bring me over this year, but called yesterday to cancel because they decided to go to their grandparents. So, this year for the holiday, I get to sit alone in my cold studio. My one meal is going to be a can of Campbell’s Vegetable Beef soup. Yay!

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Bummer… sorry to here that. It may not make up for it (being that this is just the comments section of some average album here at AMG), but you can spend it with us.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            LOL, thanks. I’m not blaming anyone for it, it was really just how things worked out. Became epileptic for no apparent reason at age 24, so had to stop working, go on Social Security Disability insurance. Never been a social person so, not working (or being able to drive) and I never found a woman to spend my life with. That one’s my fault, though, because I just really never even tried. I’m only 36, so not totally washed up, so maybe could still find someone (but almost everyone else my age has a family by now – married with kids), but it’s tough. Could definitely be worse though, and I’m very grateful for social security’s willingness to help people like me. This time of year is tough because you just wonder “what did I do wrong?” Anyway – some incite into why I’m always making such long annoying posts here. Closest form of interaction with real people I have.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Sorry to hear that, man. That’s tough and that’s something I can’t speak on because I have never experienced any of that (and won’t pretend that I know that kind of hardship). But, we appreciate your comments and input. Even the lengthy ones! You’re part of the gang!

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Thanks! I appreciate your kind comments, and I’m honestly whining more than I probably should. Lots of people have it way worse than me – I get a check every month that allows to to pay my bills, have my own home, and buy some new CDs. (Still really sad my mom got cancer and passed away at only 52 years old. Best person I’ve ever known). I do wish you and everyone else here happy holidays because this is easily my favorite blog on the internet – practically all mature, kind people – RARELY see that on blogs anywhere. I feel better now from just posting this junk, so I’ll shut up now (this is about metal, not some loser crying about his life). :p

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            There is always someone that has it worse. But, that’s still tough. Sounds like your mom was something special.

            We appreciate your comments and kind words. And I hope you have as a great holiday you can. And, honestly, our comments section kicks ass because of you and our other commenters. Not because of us writers.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            You guys are really the best! And, you’re tight that music is about feelings. Actually I feel alot better now because I listened to that Jimmy Eat World album “Bleed American” a couple times. Not metal, but so straight-foward and optimistic about life, it always helps me if I’m starting to drown in that pool of needless self-pity.

          • GardensTale

            Sorry to hear that dude. Life can be a bitch, some get shat on more than others. Sucks to have your friends cancel on you last minute, maybe you can guilt them into bringing you beer and company, because what brings more cheer than emotional manipulation right? Anyhow, I always find solace in Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place, maybe it’ll help you too. Keep looking for that exit ramp, you might find it when you least expect, mate. Cheers.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Yeah, I do appreciate your faux sympathy. It’s definitely low of me to “guilt” friends into offering to have me over, after I’d asked them all 0 times. I was a bit down beceause I didn’t have anywhere to be when they cancelled, but not angry with them. They didn’t have some obligation to bring me over, and them spending the holiday with their family wasn’t a big surprise. I don’t need charity, although I’m sure it must have given you some pleasure to see someone else feeling a bit down, but clearly not as you’re calling me out for it. Hey, maybe you can listen to some Marilyn Manson or Type O Negative to hear them tell you about how black the world burns.

          • GardensTale

            Wow, that’s a bucket of ice. Did you think I disliked you and would not have any sympathy because we disagreed over one album? Because if so, you’re wrong. I did feel sorry for you, the situation you described honestly sucks and as I had understood it your plans with your friends had basically been all set which is why I thought it was uncool of them to cancel. No sarcasm, nothing faux about my message. Sorry you felt that way.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            My apologies for my original reply. After I re-read your post I realized you weren’t trying to insult me. I’d interpreted you suggesting that I guilt my friends into a beer as basically saying that I’d just cryed so much that they had offered to let me come over on Thanksgiving (which made me feel like a true low-life), but after I’d made my comment, I realized you were just saying, since they’d canceled, I could now just kinda make them think I feel really bad, so they might hook me up with a brew or something (it would actually probably be a half-ounce. THAT would be sweet). It’s just really freakin’ cold right now, so I’m probably just more grumpy than I should be. You certainly didn’t derserve any anger/frustration for yor comment though (I was kinda hopig you wouldn’t see it, but forgot I could easily delete it). Any fellow nerds are okay in my book, and I’ve got nothing against you because of one tiny thing in one review. I usually don’t whine and cry like I was doing on turkey day. I try not to think of my life so much as getting shat on, but more that I’ve got my cards, everyone gets a different hand, so really, I should try and just be happy I didn’t fold too early. Sometimes you still win a decent pot with a 4/8.

          • GardensTale

            No hard feelings mate. I thought you might have misread something, or circumstances may have put you in a negative mood. The guilt comment was meant as a joke, but it might have been in bad taste in hindsight; always easier to say after the fact, but that’s how we learn, isn’t it?

            That album recommendation I put in was serious too, by the way. I find it to be a good pick-me-up, because it’s not happy and cheerful, but hopeful.

            Hope you’re feeling a bit better, dude. The hand of cards is a good outlook I think, making the best of what you have rather than wallow in what you don’t. Best of luck!

          • Vic279

            That’s the second time I see someone here expressing their problems in life and inner thoughts (the other being requiems comment in the clouds review) and I think it only speaks volumes about ‘our’ community here. Music is about feelings and imho we need that in a music blog. To me it shows quality and your ‘junk’ (ie comments) is one of the main reasons I visit the site. This is good stuff. Happy Thanksgiving man!

          • MastersApprentice

            I was thinking exactly the same thing. I stay away from the comments section on most sites as it’s usually where sanity goes to die.

            However, on AMG I can usually find something interesting to read in the comments, whether it be insightful observation of the music or a completely unrelated personal story.

            Thanks for sharing Oscar, I wish you all the best. Stay metal dude _I..I

    • The Unicorn

      Awww, shucks.

    • Ken Averill

      Are you boycotting Hardwired? No review?

      • Reese Burns

        I think it’s because they didn’t get a promo for it. It’s very rare they review something that they have no promo for

        • Ken Averill

          But they gave the whole album out for free on the interwebthing. Videos for each song, remember. A promo for each and every one of us.

          • Reese Burns

            Fair enough, maybe Drhum’s got some sort of embargo on it or something, you know how he gets about his dad thrash ;)

          • We’re grudgingly reviewing it. Hold yer damn horses.

          • The Nerd.

            Holy shit really?!?!?

          • Oscar Albretsen

            It’ll most definitely be interesting to see the review. I do kinda wish you guys had reviewed the new Avenged Sevenfold album, too, just cause that one really is great (IMO). Nonetheless, the fact that this site spends so much time on the bands/albums that I’m not that familiar with is one of my favorite things about it.

          • Yeah, the new A7X surprised me on how good it was, considering I can’t listen to their other albums all the way through without getting bored.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier


  • Mr T

    Black metal Dalmatians. Are you kidding me?

  • Wilhelm

    As long as he keeps releasing this obnoxious crap, maybe Dani will keep it from seeping in to future CoF releases, Hammer of the Witches was a great disc!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      If this “release your obnoxious crap somewhere else so it doesn’t seep into your main band” thing you’re talking about could get made into a law it would get you a Nobel Prize.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    That band photo looks like it was taken during some crazy halloween party.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Music wasn’t great, but they could be better. Seems like they’re focusing way too much onto their image and not enough onto the music itself. The singer’s trying to be some combination of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. Guys, you’re not a mainstream band. People who buy your album are (usually) gonna do so because of the music, not how cool or scary you look.

    • Wilhelm

      “People who buy your album are (usually) gonna do so because of the music, not how cool or scary you look.”

      oh if this were only true!

  • Sharp-Blunt Boy

    I can’t watch that video without replacing Dani with The Hitcher from the Mighty Boosh. In fact, I’d much prefer to listen to Eels than this dross.

    I was kindly purchased the first album but it just sounded like a manufactured, paint-by-numbers, focus group songwriting, straight to DVD affair. Not much has changed by the looks.

  • Here’s Johnny

    Hmm…if it isn’t as good as the first, then this must be truly awful cause the first one sucked monkey balls.

    • Anarchist

      I kinda liked the first one. Not all of it, but I thought Even your Blood Group Rejects Me and Mother Kali, and Girl From Paradise Island were all fun songs.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    – We’re kind of Goth but we don’t take it too seriously…
    – Then why should we?

  • Innit Bartender

    Aaaaand welcome back again to the Badly Photoshopped Goth Chicks Album Art week!!

  • Devil Mint– The Infernal Freshmaker