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Devlin - Grand Death Opening

Devlin -  CD Review
Grand Death Opening

CD Info
Napalm Records
10 Tracks
English lyrics

"Grand Death Opening" is the debut album from German Black Metal band Siebenburgen's vocalist, Marcus Ehlin. I hope I phrased that right! But let's not even try and confuse one with the other. The music and format has absolutely nothing to do with the corpse painted Black Metal band I mention. Yes, there are some similarity's, but they only appear when Marcus opens his mouth, and not in the music itself. This album is purely Gothic Rock with some Black Metal influences, mostly in the vocals by Ehlin, which are few and far between. But, wait a minute. There is also something very special going on here. Marcus, has recruited the services of a sexy, 24 year old female singer with blonde hair (dyed), by the name of Lexi. For Marcus, though, and for those of us who like our music with females in the lead, this is where he made his Grand Opening.

Lexi, whom I presume is German, is the lead singer of Devlin, and has a very clear distinguishable voice with no apparent accent at all. She almost reminds me of an American pop rock singer. Maybe along the lines of a German Madonna. But lest we get carried away here, Lexi is no Madonna, yet. But she is in my estimation, a very talented entity within this project. She is not a screamer at all, and has subtle way of putting forth Marcus' lyrical talents. Actually, the band is a twosome similar to allot of Gothic bands around the world, for the liner notes only list Lexi and Marcus as the bands mainstays. Also listed are some names as guest vocalists (male) on a few songs. Most notably Martin Schirenc on the Song "Divinity". But the male voices are mostly back up to Lexi, who is the real star, along with Marcus' song writing talents. It's hard to believe that a Black metaller such as Marcus, could come up with such melodic gothic rock, but here it is.

The music, as I've stated, is mostly Gothic Rock with metal influences. Short, mid paced Gothic ballads, almost akin to club rock, with Lexi's voice being the thing that you'll remember most about the music. Marcus plays all of the stringed instruments and keyboards. He proves to be a very talented musician and songwriter for this debut. The sound production is also good and proves that Marcus is no newcomer to the music scene. The lyrics seem to deal mostly with what Goth (sadness and distress) is all about. There is also a cover of Billy Idol's "White Wedding" which thankfully, is not the best track on the album, but is not unbearably done, as are most covers. And Lexi sounds nothing like Billy. Thank God for both of them. Standout track for these ears is definitely the opener "Underworld" which is also the longest one clocking in at over 5:00. Rest of the tracks are under that time level. But, if you enjoy the first track, you will also dig tracks such as "Death is Our Kingdom", "Fade" and "Divinity", which also have that Gothic rock flavor. Similar bands to reference Devlin, may be, a mix of Daylight Torn ("New Skin" era) The Dreamside or possibly even Bloodflowerz... If your looking for a similarity to Siebenburgen, then forget it. This is not Black Metal and it's definitely not for you.