Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Devil Sold His Soul, URNE, Forlorn, O2 Academy Islington, 09/04/2022

Photo Credit: Jack Delve (5th April 2022 – The Fleece, Bristol)

Time, it heals all wounds so they say, and for a band like Devil Sold His Soul time is something that has played a big factor in this emotionally charged post-hardcore outfit’s career. Returning in 2021 after a staggering nine years since their last LP with 2012’s Empire Of Light, it’s safe to say time has been a recent constant for DSHS, including tonight’s show down at o2 Academy Islington and all the dates that run surrounding it. Marking the band’s first headline tour in five years and any form of live outing their returning record Loss has had in any capacity, tonight’s show was a special occasion driven by heavy-weighted emotion and jubilated triumph, Devil Sold His Soul returned in live style. 

Before Devil Soul His Soul’s mammoth comeback to the stage, supports Forlorn and URNE both bring their own defying blend of heavy music to the stage of one of Islington’s finest music venues. The ideal warm-up needed to get a room boiling hot for one of the most anticipated stage returns in the heavy music scene. 

Ambient, atmospheric and cinematic, opener Ardour signalled Devil Sold His Soul back on soil that they deserve to be on. “It’s good to be back on tour. It’s been five years for us,” marks co-vocalist Paul Green, now sharing vocal duties with Ed Gibbs back in Devil Sold His Soul’s line-up. Two powerhouse heavy vocalists make for double the emotional intensity and opener Adour would be the first of many of these moments. 

Bringing a new album out on tour for any band is a chance to showcase some new material in its rawest format, but for a band like Devil Sold His Soul, there has been some catching up to be done. 2021 saw the ambient ensemble drop their first full-length in nearly a decade, coming in the form of Loss, an album centred around grief-stricken darkness and dealing with coming out the other side with an uplifting glimmer of hope running throughout. Tonight’s set paid homage to that, packed full of Loss tracks from Witness Marks to Burdened and and Beyond Reach to The Narcissist, perfectly poised screams in all the right places, emotive lyrics and elongated instrumentals only adding to the weightiness of Loss live. 

Elsewhere some of Devil Sold His Soul’s older stuff reigned supreme however. Encore moments Darkness Prevails and Like It’s Your Last, taken from the band’s first ever EP proved that even after years and years of existence, these tracks still have a gut punching quality live. Now more than ever before. 

Back in 2021, Devil Sold His Soul poured every ounce of emotion they have left into Loss and tonight on their first run of live shows in five years, they poured every ounce of emotion they still have into this London headliner. 

9/10

Written by: Katie Conway-Flood

Photo Credit: Jack Delve (5th April 2022 – The Fleece, Bristol)

Katie Conway-Flood
⚫️ Digital Asst @shootfirstuk ⚫️ Sub Editor @discoveredmagazine ⚫️ Journo @bringthenoiseuk @distortedsound @gigwise @newnoisemagazine @punktastic