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Gig Review: Devilskin @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 19/09/15

06 Nov 2015 // A review by Andrew Smit

Another eager crowd packed into Auckland's Powerstation ready to be rocked with the promise of live and loud kiwi talent. Starting with City of Souls who filled the stage and the room with their tight metal core sound, it took a song or two to hear the lead vocalist but thankfully the sound and the band improved with every song. These guys have a full and grinding sound that was peeled off with machine like rhythm coupled with three aggressive melodic guitars. Lead singer Richie Simpson has a formidable look and vocal energy that fits the overall look and sound perfectly, their songs are strong and dynamic, with cool guitar riffs that explode into frenzied metalcore that grinds and explodes with power and aggression. With a great name, an impressive look and sound, and very strong songs, there is no doubt these guys will impress whatever city they perform in.

Next up was the popular 4 piece rockers Villainy who kicked off with their hit Ammunition from their first album and it was a superb start to a hot set of tunes, they sound so astonishingly true to their album sound, but it's alive, loud and real. The Auckland boys are a tight unit and they confidently peel off their hot songs with accomplished abandon. The crowd were into each song and when the band unanimously hit a power chord filled grind the masses jumped and bounced in unison with the band. Neil Fraser's voice was in fine form as always, his expressive vocals just sound is so powerful and tuneful, he can sing and growl with relentless enthusiasm and he never misses a beat. The guitar work from the studious Thom Watts was another highlight, the band work so well together and have an incredible rock sound, which is no doubt made possible thanks to the faultless drums and bass from Dave Johnston and James Dylan. Villainy are an authoritative rock band and their endless energy and passion for the music is infectious to say the least. Their new songs have a harder and more moody edge to them and were well received by the roused audience. Finishing up with their superb new song Safe Passage, they left the faithful wanting more.

And so it was time for Devilskin, the boys in the band got the music started and then the singer took to centre stage, looking hot, sexy and stunning, Jennie Skulander bounded about the stage and caught everyone's eye, and then she sang, her voice is strong and full of tuneful power which enriches the rock sound brilliantly, and when necessary Jennie could scowl with devilish authority. Her ability to peel off song after song was impressive, and she could switch from a full blown classic like Start a Revolution with all its intensity and then follow it up by a new gentler song that had an incredible solo vocal intro! a brave act that showed a confidence and boldness to show case their talents. The band have a tight grinding sound delivered with great enthusiasm up front by Nail Vincent on guitar and Paul Martin on bass, while relentlessly driven by the young Nic Martin on drums. Nail and Paul with their matching red goatees and bald heads actively paraded around their turf jumping onto speaker boxes and shaking and swinging their guitars around for added eye catching effect., and they could play too. But as much as they could try when Jennie was in full voice she had the whole crowds attention, when she wants everyone to clap, everyone claps, when she growls the whole crowd was aroused.

Popular songs Little Pills and Never See The Light sounded awesome, in fact every song from their hit debut album We Rise was fervently acknowledged by the masses. Although the bands new songs sounded cast from the same rock stone, they were still fresh and appealing. You can tell they write songs that they enjoy and want to play live. They added in some great variety to the set, with Chainsaw kicking off with the aid of a real chainsaw, almost expertly handled by the lovely Jennie. Now with all this exuberance from the beauty and the beasts up front you may be forgiven for forgetting about the drummer, he was clearly delivering a faultless steady beat alright, but thankfully he was able to show off his abilities as he performed a good old 80’s stadium band style drum solo, Nic really knows his drums and was machine like throughout the solo and the whole night, he looked like he could play forever.

They delivered their encore with an acoustic set, which was a nice detour from the frenetic power of their core sound, but in the end it was the return of the rock sound that fired us up and had us cheering for more. Devilskin really do have a complete look and sound, and they perform with energy and real down to earth ability which will see their horizons continue to rise.

About Devilskin

Devilskin is a four piece band from Hamilton New Zealand formed in June 2010, they already have guts, class, kudos and confidence. The sum total of a determined and accomplished group of musicians who know what they want, the music is organic, dynamic and real.

The band features the spectacular Jennie Skulander on lead vocals. Her powerful and compelling voice and alluring stage presence sets her apart from any vocalist New Zealand has put up so far. With an unerring gift for melody, Jennie's incredible voice sweeps from whisper to roar, rips with power, drips with melody and captivates with sincerity.

Jennie previously fronted Rotorua band Slipping Tongue garnering a swathe of fans with their videos, EPs and album. Slipping Tongue also impressed many when they opened for Coheed & Cambria in 2008.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Devilskin


Be Like The River
Year: 2016
Type: Album
We Rise
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Live At The Powerstation
Year: 2014
Type: DVD

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