25 Jun 2024

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Devilskin - EP Review: Surfacing

17 May 2024 // A review by Peter K Malthus

At this point in their careerDevilskin scarcely need any introduction. However, on the freakish, bizzaro-world chance that you're not already familiar, the high-octane, fire-breathing, badass rock & roll juggernaut four-piece formed in Hamilton in 2010 and have been kicking arse and stealing hearts ever since. Comprising veteran performers Jennie Skulander (Vocals), Nail Vincent (Guitar), Paul Martin (Bass) and relative newcomer to the scene Nic Martin (Drums) With three full-length albums under their collective belts already, new EP Surfacing sees a combination of three long-time crowd favourites from early in their career, and three brand-spanking new tracks.

The Whale Song gets things under way in typically bombastic fashion. A powerful, snarling riff sets it up, with bass and drums booming in behind, to lead into a huge, stomping groove. Jennie's vocals then kick the whole thing into the stratosphere, and the power doesn't let up for the almost 7 minutes of the track. Nail's guitar chugs like an army of tanks, whilst Paul's bass tone could well have come straight from the very pits of Hades. Nic is as solid as you like, perfectly holding the groove and feel of the song with nothing extraneous, every last beat is there because it's supposed to be. I've seen the mighty Devilskin live a couple times now, and I've seen the effect this song has on their rabid fans, you could just about knock down a couple of buildings with the mojo it generates.

Then we're treated to two covers, Dio's Holy Diver, and Heart's Barracuda, both live favourites of the band, and performed and delivered here with all the love and passion of true fans of the songs. Face-meltingly good renditions of both. Let Me Breathe is then the first of the three tracks of new material. Paul's bass tone is simply bestial yet again coming into this snotter of a riff, which then opens up to a brooding and reflective mood, before charging full speed ahead into the chorus. The vocals on this track show why Jennie is widely regarded as NZ's greatest ever female rock vocalist. A true powerhouse, her performance here is nothing short of stunning.

The riffing in next track Insects is thunderously metal-tinged, the song having huge moments of power and beauty, with some glorious harmonies from the inimitable Jennie. This is a stomper of a song, with balls for days. The final track on Surfacing is Unborn. I hope the band can live with me drawing comparisons to Blackbird-era Alter Bridge (I thrashed the crap out of that album when I first heard it, still love it) in feel and delivery. A perfect way to round off this EP, a massive song, with Nail amply displaying all the taste and skill that saw him joining the ranks of Gibson guitars artists, I'm reasonably certain I'm telling you correctly that he's the first New Zealander to be afforded that honour.

Devilskin will be touring the country throughout May and June, with support from Skinny Hobos and a reformed Tadpole, featuring the fantastically talented Emma Dilemma on vocals. See you there.


About Devilskin

Devilskin formed in June 2010 in Hamilton New Zealand and 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.

On lead guitar is Nail from the popular Waikato band Chuganaut who won the NZ Battle of the Bands and the World Battle Of The Bands in 2004. Played BDO in 2005 and opened for Iron Maiden at Mt Smart stadium in 2009. Chuganaut has played numerous national tours and released several singles, EP’s, videos and an album. Nail's searing guitar work and high energy performance bring real intensity to the live show. Nail also performs with Beckoned.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Devilskin


Year: 2024
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Be Like The River
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
We Rise
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Live At The Powerstation
Year: 2014
Type: DVD

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