Devil You Know - Camden Underworld, London, UK (22nd Jan 2017)

Devil You Know – Camden Underworld, London, UK (22nd Jan 2017)

The Camden Underworld is an important notch in any relatively successful bands career. The musicians gracing that stage on this Sunday night however are a super group, which have all acquired legendary status within their previous bands. Formed from ex-members of All Shall Perish, Killswitch Engage and Bleeding Through, the band came about when Francesco Artusato(All Shall Perish) and John Sankey (Devolved) sought out the vocal talents of Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage). Thus metalcore supergroup Devil you know was born. About six months ago Sankey left and they recruited the talents of ex-Trivium skin basher Nick Augusto.

The supports are varied and all have a unique edge to them. South-east London Groove Metallers Brutai open up the night, bringing in their brand of melodic infused yet poppy Progressive Metal. Not sounding anything like their namesake (Brutai infers that a band that sounds like the heaviest of metal rather than the jazz inflected and mainly clean-sung affair it is.) They give a vibrant edge to the bill as Felix Lawrie sings incredibly catchy, almost pop like hooks over technical and high-skilled instrumentals.

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Next up Wearing scars take to the stage with the incredibly tight guitar skills of Andy James and the breathtaking vocals from Chris Clancy taking center stage. This band were formed from members of Mutiny Within and Sacred Mother Tongue and are part of another super group, so they fit the bill well. They carry an alternative rock vibe, but heavier, thus another genre is covered by the innovative bands on offer tonight.

However, if you weren’t aware that Devil you know were gracing the stage very soon, you’d be forgiven for thinking Canadian based Oni were the headline band. The virtuoso musicianship on show is enough to make the biggest progressive cynics jaw drop to the floor. Brandon White’s fingers fly around the fret board at breakneck speeds whilst Johnny DeEnglais is shredding up a Xylosynth, and in perfect sync with each other. The wall of sound that comes with this band is truly a unique one, and witnessing them live is a special experience, which is hard to convey in any way other than “make sure you see them!”

But even though Oni had left the small room sincerely shaken, it’s The Devil you Know’s time to make sure it’s decimated. One by one the band members arrive on stage to increasingly louder applause, until main man Howard Jones bursts on donning a baseball cap and immediately sets the room alight. From the opening track ‘Consume the damned’ the band show they are on top form, sounding like a destructive force ready to crush all in their path. You can see they are definitely not novices at what they do, especially Howard, who owns the stage with confidence and charisma. Between frequent banter with the audience he shreds his vocal chords and wows them with his trademark soaring clean vocals, his screams sound more piercing than ever. Bassist Ryan Wombacher also lends a hand with some backup vocals allowing both him and Howard to double up when needed.

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As everyone in the band has come from bands garnering many years experience in the industry, they are incredibly skilled. Nick Augusto’s blasts are hard-hitting in ‘Stay of Execution’ and Francesco Artusato solos sound perfect note for note. This band isn’t a loose one, and every beat, inflection and bend is played exactly like the album.

At one point during the set Howard remarks that this is the first time he has been happy doing this job in 15 years, however its really really hard to imagine him anywhere else, as he delivers such a confident performance. This show is more lacking on the side of the audience. With a lot of people not singing the lyrics and ignoring Howard requests for stage dives, it seems the crowd were mainly there for the spectacle of seeing Howard, rather than having heard much of the music, which is a shame because the whole band are phenomenal and the songs back it up 100%.

‘They bleed red’ is out now on Nuclear blast records

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