Bible Of The Devil – Tight Empire Review

Originally written by Nin Chan

Honest, sweltering, sweaty rock n’roll. An unfashionable style, to be sure, yet one that somehow manages to forge an uncompromising, single-minded path through the swathes of pretension that typify much of today’s music climate, winning rabidly dedicated audiences who remember an age where Budgie, Mountain and Grand Funk Railroad were as loud as rock n’ roll could possibly get. If you do not consider yourself a card-carrying member of this community, I would advise you to turn back at this point, for Bible of the Devil will likely be of no interest to you. For those of you who still worship at the altar of Leslie West and Felix Papalardi, Lynott and Bell, this record will likely incite many a shit-faced grin as you air guitar your way through 48 minutes of white hot, feverish rawk n’roll energy.

The most obvious reference point here would be Thin Lizzy – the disc is teeming with blistering twin lead melodies, furious, insistent rhythms and absolutely lethal hooks, all hallmarks of the English pioneers who out-Maidened Maiden before the advent of NWoBHM. In many senses, one might approach Bible of the Devil as a modern reincarnation of a band that (inexplicably) continues to stumble forward despite the loss of its original core, distilling ideas put forth so masterfully on Jailbreak and Fighting. Yet, as much as BOTD remind one of Thin Lizzy, shades of Samson, early Maiden, Motörhead, Deep Purple, Mountain and AC/DC also surface throughout, the band inserting a variety of subtle flourishes throughout that distinguish them from more monodimensional outfits like Bad Wizard.

After having spun this for two hours straight, it is quite remarkable how consistently excellent the quality of songwriting throughout this record is. Remarkably groovy, dancefloor-ready rhythms, sore-throated yet strangely sensual vocals, plenty of pelvis-thrusting, hip-swaying swagger, solos around every corner, face-melting twin leads and guitar/bass interplays aplenty, surprisingly complex songwriting that deftly shuffles between a variety of tempos without making individual passages sound disjointed. And the hooks…the hooks! Try not singing along to “Ball Deep, Mountain High” or “Kicking Birth” (or humming the twin guitar melody that drives the track, for that matter) after two or three listens, I defy you! I LOVE when the arrangements on this disc get busy and intense (the hectic build up 3 minutes into “Kicking Birth”, the post-solo instrumental ditty/escalating twin lead interplay on “Shit To Pimp”, the bludgeoning organ/tamborine assisted filthy boogie of “Sexual Dry Gulch”, the all-consuming pummel 03:50 through “Fuckin’ A”, which is more Slayer than Thin Lizzy in intensity). The mix, while warm and soulful throughout, does reveal its flaws somewhat in the more chaotic moments of the record, where the drum sound sounds a little submerged beneath the dense layers of squealing guitars and omnipresent low-end. Otherwise, the production is pretty damn close to perfect and authentic sounding.

The great thing about this record is it isn’t merely a drunken, revisionist stab at bloody knuckled rock n’ roll. This isn’t some idiotic Hives or Datsuns garage crap, nor is it some cheesy cash grab retro act that only reveals its appeal after a six pack of beer. There is a LOT of genuinely musical stuff going on here and a real unwavering honesty that is so refreshing in a world where ‘70s rock revivalists are a dime a dozen. This is heavier, more intricate, more well-written and more fun than virtually any modern, balls-to-the-wall rock n’ roll band you could name. A definite winner if you are into hellraising, riff-oriented, solo-intensive bluesy metal.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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