The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: Devil Sold His Soul – A Fragile Hope
Avast ye! First-Mate Disinformasiya has effected a second mutiny and ousted Cap’n Dormition from his regular column! YARRRRR!
No, young Dan has in fact been very busy working his particular talents on a super secret project for us, and so I’ve taken the reigns of this mighty chariot once again to bring you another variation of From The Archive™!
You know those albums that you know almost instantaneously you’re going to fall in love with? This was one of the first. What’s more, it was one that I found for myself. Devil Sold His Soul were mine.
I bought A Fragile Hope back in 2007 after hearing that Devil Sold His Soul had supported an Architects gig (back when they could still play The Underworld in Camden) to rapturous praise. I remember having classes the day it arrived day, and the post office in my halls of residence being closed until later on that evening. It was November. It was cold outside, and it was the beginning of a period of being alone for the first time in my life. No parents. No family. NO FRIENDS!
So it was evening; dark outside, and I slipped the disc into my laptop. Sounds like the beginning to a bad porno, right? Well, it was pretty damn sexy I can tell you. Those booming opening bass notes of “In The Absence Of Light” coming through my brand new speakers, building up to the absolutely crushing drop into “As The Storm Unfolds” blew my ever-loving little mind. So simple, but oh so effective.
A Fragile Hope is a truly desperate-sounding album. It takes the lumbering beauty of post-metal and combines it with a sense of urgency. Throughout, Ed Gibbs’ dichotomous vocals jump between caustic screeching and a high register clean vocals, and it’s completely visceral. Seriously; he sounds like a banshee at times, and it’s awesome. The interplay between the guitarists is fantastic; never over-complicated, but measured and tonally consistent. The album sounds cohesive as a whole, and it’s all beautifully rounded off by some cymbal-riding, beautifully accented drumming.
Being a student, I of course had a kookie lamp that threw up a bunch of colours on the wall. I loved to sit in the dark with just this on and listen to music – back in the good old days when I actually had time to do that – and A Fragile Hope suits that kind of dedication perfectly. It’s such a complete heavy musical experience; ambient but capable of moments of violent desperation. Being a relatively Europe-only phenomenon, I implore you to give it the same kind of dedication I have many times and get with us cool British types. We know what’s up, y’all.