by Thomas Bedward January 16, 2021
When it comes to versatile musicians, names like Jack White, Dave Grohl, Geoff Barrow, and Damon Albarn are often the first that come to mind, but for every legendary name, there are ten underground talents fighting to break through and show the world what they can do. In our years championing independent artists we’ve met our fair share of impressive talents, but until now, we’ve never met anyone like the recording artist, producer, songwriter, creator, and visionary artist that is White Devil.
Originally a bassist in a slew of metal projects like Catatonic Atrocity and Human Filleted, White Devil struck out on his own after relocating to Denver, Colorado, expanding his sound to incorporate sharp, jagged elements of death metal, hip-hop, electronica, industrial, and dance into the brash, cinematic, and completely unique aural experience that is ‘Year of the Tyrant’.
An album that White Devil has called ‘very much rated R’, ‘Year of the Tyrant’ delves into the darkest depths of society, pulling no punches and exploring themes like police brutality, COVID-19, pornography, torture, rape. cannibalism, mental illness, politics, QAnon, religion, and militia uprisings with an unyielding and explosive sound. As soon as the album begins, White Devil drags you into his own fierce, rolling soundscape, offering a driven force of layered audio snippets, kaleidoscopic synths, dark, brooding percussive strikes, and breaking vocal interludes. It’s a tempered storm of bristling sounds, laying down a perfect foundation for things to come.
In second cut ‘Intubation’, White Devil dives into more chaotic sounds, building on the precedent set by the opening track with a maelstrom of news clippings about COVID-19. A track that builds tension and through its stark realism and unshakable anthemics, it’s a perfect illustration of White Devil’s approach to music, along with a scathing, but greatly needed, denouncement of our broken modern age. As the album continues, ‘Let It Drop’ delivers a caustic collage of pornographic cuts, infamous Trump quotes, and industrial elements, while ‘The Pfeffa’ boldly creates its own hybrid genre, channelling metal aesthetics into sharp trap instrumentals.
Arguably one of the most damning and divisive tracks, ‘C;)nt’ shakes with unmistakable death metal sounds, delivering an animalistic change of pace that will overwhelm even the most strong-willed listeners. It’s a powerful, unexpected, and utterly brilliant turn of pace, proving White Devil’s versatility and prowess beyond any possible doubts. In ’40 Days’, White Devil finds a halfway house between his two styles, offering death metal vibes, haunting, almost demonic atmospherics, and dark, visceral sounds in droves, while in ‘You, Too’ he delivers a caustic collage of screams, cries, and anguished sounds that will stick with you long after they’ve faded.
In the latter half of the album, White Devil continues to impress, crashing through your speakers with an unforgettable and completely unassailable assortment of sounds that will stick in your gut. Highlights abound in ‘Vesicate (Feeding the Whore)’, the White Devil’s own eponymous piece, and the straight rock anthemics of ‘Between the Lines (A Special Message from QAnon’ but in the end, it all comes down to ‘Boogaloo Boogie’, a wild and totally unexpected piece that leaves behind dark times in favour of upbeat electronic vibes.
When discussing the album, White Devil explained that ‘Year of the Tyrant’ was influenced by the various "tyrants" that affected his life throughout 2020, and the cathartic nature of the album cannot be ignored. Fearless, expressive, and absolutely relentless, the album is an intricate patchwork of sounds, styles, and audio clips that have been stitched together into one of the most impressive albums of the year.
Like a dark twisted relative to the work of Fold or Public Service Broadcasting, ‘Year of the Tyrant’ delivers in droves, forcing us to face our troubles and effect a change, while also proving that White Devil is exactly the kind of artist that we need in 2021.
Stream ‘Year of the Tyrant’ above via Soundcloud and be sure to follow White Devil on his social media pages below so you never miss a release.
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