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When I heard that there is a formation at Regain Records playing a death’n’roll-alike music with punk elements – they started as a Misfits cover band -, I was very excited about them and their EP. I knew Regain Records as one of the great providers of the good metal music according to their signings and when I heard that the line-up of Devil’s Whorehouse features Håkansson from Marduk and Abruptum and Hrafn from IXXI, I started to expect a lot from this material. I thought that this yet not very well-known band must have been created a dirty rock&roll and punk influenced extreme metal effort at its best. But when „Werewolf” started I already knew that I was wrong.
The first track is already a letdown. It starts with three accords that must have been familiar for you because these notes were performed by many amateur black/thrash and punk bands. The song has its upsides though, for example, the vocalist performs well – however, it should be a bit more energetic -, and there is a nice atmospheric part in the middle of the song also. One of my pals described this song’s genre as „atmospheric evil punk” which could be funny – because it’s a non-existente genre-crossover - but it describes the track „Werewolf” well. All in all, it starts as a „very weak” song but the above mentioned upsides are grading it up to „fair”. It’s a good thing that each track of this EP was written in different style. After the starter’s punkened style comes a bit southern rock influenced song with a retro feeling and a great vocalizing and atmosphere. That’s the best song of the EP, it's surely good despite it is also not overcomplicated with its simple structure. The last track is a bit faster thrash/speed effort, it’s catchy but sounds also too familiar. The vocalist Maelstrom tries to make it more unique but somehow he’s not as good here as he was in the first two tracks. I mean, he is good at shouting and he has nice clean voice, but when he tries to compound them it simply doesn’t work well, it lacks energy. It seems that Devil’s Whorehouse is still in search for their own sound rather than mixing the genres and styles consciously. And because of this, it’s hard to describe their music genre. Death’n’roll wouldn’t be proper because I feel death metal’s presence only for moments, but surely, their soundscape is close to that subgenre. For being labelled as punk they have too many thrash and speed metal elements within their music, not to mention southern rock. So – just as other people – I also labeled their music as ’Death Rock’ because I found that very descriptive and in this case I don’t really care whether this subgenre exists or not.
After they have released their first full-length in 2003 the band went on a hiatus for 5 years, but as a listener, I don’t feel that this comeback was necessary. Of course, they should think it otherwise, because a band like this could be a great opportunity for every musician to play an honest and atmospheric music without demonstrating their technical and musical skills. These bands are just about play the music you feel inside without compromises. There’s no problem with the honesty of Devil’s Whorehouse, they can be certainly good at live gigs but this EP is just not as atmospheric as it should be, it hasn’t got that cool dirty feeling in general, you feel that only for moments. They have good ideas but the execution is not the best, these songs have more potentialities in them. All in all, I won’t forget this band’s name because „Mouth of Hell” is a good song, but I think, Regain Records made a small blunder by signing this band.
( Originally written for: http://kronosmortus.hu )