Released: 2004, Witches Brew
I’m pretty damn late to the Devil Lee Rot party, saddeningly so. I’ve passed up on the band for such a long time (actually for the last 4 years or so I’ve been hearing good things). So hearing this 2004 release only a month ago was a good thing for me, a very good thing as I’ve now been hit with what I’ve been missing all this time… not to mention it got me to go ahead and order the rest of the band’s albums.
Assuredly, most Devil Lee Rot fans already have a copy of this release, as well as the band’s previous 4 full-length albums starting in 2002 with A LITTLE DEVIL AIN’T ENOUGH, not to mention the live disc and full-length, AT HELLS DEEP, that came out just last year. This review is more for those that haven’t yet picked up on this metal beast known as Devil Lee Rot just yet.
Devil Lee Rot play straight ahead heavy metal in the dirty old school tradition. While they may not play complicated music, it is passionate music with good song writing. Some obvious references might be Angel Witch, Venom and hosts of others. Vocally, DLR is in the more extreme blackened vein with a throaty approach that can, and probably will, turn off some old school fans who don’t like a more extreme vocal style though I feel it works well within the framework of the band’s sound. This fifth release by the band works as a compilation of sorts as there is little here as far as exclusive material. Most of the songs are rerecording of songs from prior albums. One could say that this release serves the purpose of giving a new fan, like myself, a good feeling for what the band has done prior as well as a way for the band to give some of these songs a much fuller production than what they originally had.
Throughout the album pounding heavy metal anthems are thrown out constantly in the form of songs like “Pirates of Hell”, “Metalizer”, or “Soldiers from Hell” as well as some slow grinding songs like “Devil’s Diary” or “In Hell Where Sinners Burn”. Each song is crafted in such a way that the melodies, the riffs, the solos hit in just a certain way that it ignites something inside and will force you to get up off the couch (or from the computer, depending on your listening situation) and completely get into the music. One thing I did notice throughout METALIZER is that the tempos rarely kick up to be all that fast. Now, admittedly, that’s not a problem, just an interesting observation, as everything stays within a pretty grooving tempo.
There really are no bum tracks or fillers (though one shouldn’t expect any from what is essentially a “best-of” situation) leaving me feeling completely satisfied after just over 51 minutes of kickass heavy metal. While I couldn’t help myself give in to the Devil Lee Rot charm on the first listen, I’m sure most metalheads out there won’t be able to deny DLR for much longer.