Bible Of The Devil - The Diabolic Procession - Cruz Del Sur Music 2006
Running Time: 42:46
"Ecclesia Novorum Innocentium" slams from first to fifth gear with bonejarring speed, not only belying the skill present in the guitar duo of Hoffman and Perry, but probably being the only time a Latin phrase has been used as lyrics in the dirt-rock/metal plied by BOTD and bands of their ilk. Shifting down to a surprisingly melodic strut not unlike early Hanoi Rocks, the tandem vocal work by Hoffman/Perry (yet once more) gives a certain heft to Bible Of The Devil that's missing in a lot of the Bad Wizard/Zeke crowd, untouchable though the latter is in their own right. '70s-drenched leads spike out of the rhythm section in "Sepulchre", soaked in glory of "Thunder & Lightning" era Thin Lizzy, leading into the Maiden-ized main riff of "Orphans Of Doom". Here Hoffman adds a bit of Dave Chandler's nasal tone to his delivery, which is, I suppose, only appropriate for a song of with "doom" in the title. To be honest, the only thing "Orphans..." was missing was a Mike Scalzi cameo to shoot the whole thing into the stratosphere. Don't get me wrong, the song is a more than worthy headbanger as it is, but a visit from Scalzi (Slough Feg, Hammers Of Misfortune) would've torn the roof off. The bass work of Darren Amaya is surprisingly full, most dirty rock bands relying on the same bloozed-out three chords to get them by on adrenaline alone. Near the end, "Orphans..." ignites in a destructive cavalcade of sound only to reverse the retreat and charge back out of the speakers, axes both stringed and unstringed swinging in the mayhem. With its solid metal gallop, "Millenialism" exposes the parallels between the Children's Crusade (upon which The Diabolic Procession is based) and today's powermongering hordes, which are different in name only from the raiding pillagers of yore. The stop-on-a- shilling drumming of Spalding is almost too infectious for its own good here, marching to the forefront in a way he hasn't since 2002's Firewater At My Command. "Legions Of The Oriflamme" ups the metal ante that much more, pinch harmonics and careening chords rolling the battering ram of a rhythm section towards the gates, heedless of falling fire arrows of critics or even fans who "liked them better when they were local". The subtle fingerpicking of "The Elusive Miracle" bears aloft downtrodden leads before bleeding into propulsive doom. I say "propulsive" because soon enough, the A.D.D. aspect of BOTD kicks in, sending the band through a NWOBHM-bred stomp before bursting into grooved out Hessian glory. If they weren't sodamned testosterone-fuelled, the vocal harmonies before the last chorus of "The Elusive Miracle" would recall none other than Styx, specifically "Renegade". Slap loincloths and a couple Harleys on and under Bible Of The Devil, and "Heinous Corpus" could've shown up on Fighting The World with little to no stylistic changes. You know when you get the impression that a certain song would utterly slay in a live setting? Well, I'd like to take this time to warn club owners that renting an ambulance service for the night BOTD are booked, because material like "Heinous Corpus" is simply destructive in the way all great rock is. "Judas Ships" is rife with hammer-ons, swiftly-played arpeggios, and chunky riffs until the blistering leads rise again, as vital as anything birthed by Tipton/Downing in their better years. If someone in BOTD doesn't just fucking love Mountain, I'll turn in my copy of Nantucket Sleghride right now. The final number here, "Slaves", conjures the spirit of "Nantucket Sleighride" (the song) musically, while crafting the mournful ending of the Children's Crusades. The subject matter of the song delves into both the tragic epilogue to that tale and the current world political state. It's allegorical as all Hell, but the parallels are too many to ignore, and gives The Diabolic Procession a coda that bleeds pure sweat-drenched passion.
All my prior pontificating is not to say, though, that Bible Of The Devil is a band for the coffee shop crowd, content to pluck acoustics into the wee hours of the morning for Beatnik wannabes in faux-goth attire. Bible Of The Devil is first and foremost a Rock And Roll Band (note capital letters). Fuck retro revivalists The Darkness and Wolfmother. It's bands like Bible Of The Devil and albums like The Diabolic Procession that prove that Rock never went any-damn-where. And not only that, it's still snotty, loud, and badass enough to bitchslap you for saying it did.