Blue Stahli
The Devil


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aerisavion USER (24 Reviews)
October 7th, 2015 | 25 replies


Release Date: 10/02/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Catchy electronic metal, almost at its finest.

Although comparable in many ways to his peer, Bret Autrey of Blue Stahli prefers a slightly more schizophrenic, mad scientist approach to things, unlike the grander, more theatrical musical outlet Klayton (of Celldweller) tends to produce. Happily bouncing around from one style to the next with little to no regard for consistency or critical reception, this bizarre, energetic penchant for diversity in his wild musical conceptions have resulted in some fantastic results, successfully keeping things fresh and interesting. His instrumental series of Antisleep albums have proven themselves entertaining at the very least, but it was the 2011 Blue Stahli record, his first effort of delivering fully fledged songs with vocals, that really showed off what Autrey was capable of. Visceral, aggressive, and packing more than enough guitar distortion to 'ready, aim, fire' itself right into your ears (leaving a gaping exit hole along the way), Blue Stahli paved the way to bigger success, and after a long four year wait, a sophomore vocal record has seriously felt overdue. Finally, following two 'chapter' releases before the final product, comes The Devil.

Although not one to stay rooted in one style for too long, Autrey's vocal records tend to feature far more consistency in structure and themes than his instrumental efforts. A little less focused on the sinister atmospheres of 'Corner', or the snarling aggression of 'Scrape', The Devil instead aims for a catchier sound than its predecessor, jam packed full of big, anthemic chorus' and far more mainstream in structure. It may seem somewhat generic, but rest assured this is pulled off in spectacular fashion; 'Ready, Aim, Fire' and 'Armageddon' feature as ridiculous in nature, yet instantly, stupendously memorable. Electronic beats, and sprawling digital snippets of various sound bites fill the air in some of the albums greatest moments, and if anything else, it's just simply fun to listen to. The album also takes more than enough time shows off Autrey's ability to write some fantastically catchy guitar riffs; like a sucker punch to the face, 'Not Over Til We Say So's thrashy, Daron Malakian-esque guitar play bursts onto the scene with some of Autrey's fastest riffage to date, seamlessly integrated with Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies' pounding guest appearance on bass and vocals. Tracks such as 'Rockstar' also benefit massively from Autrey's guitar work here, bringing a grittier, heavier vibe where needed, and 'Down In Flames' glorifies in blasting metal distortion and a rare, short Blue Stahli guitar solo.

As for what you'd hope the 'main event' to be on Autrey's sophomore vocal album, the lyrical and vocal work for the most part is a success here. While Blue Stahli featured some gorgeous, moody lyrical choices throughout the record, ("there is an art to infliction, head-spill and homicide, I'll burn it all just to light your eyes"), to fit the catchier style of the record, this has mostly been dumbed down. Instead, Autrey's vocals are the driving force for most tracks, such as the soaring chorus of 'The Fall', or the growling repeats of "armageddon, baby". His finest moments are of course the songs that suit his personality best; under all the fun and games, a threatening atmosphere and gnarly vocals. 'The Devil' and 'Enemy' are great examples of Autrey's ability to build up a sense of unease, before breaking the tension through massive, powering chorus'. One the album's best highlights of Autrey's vocal delivery is album closer 'Demon', a track that relishes in crunchy hard rock riffs, Autrey's haunting calls of "you've got a demon", and a steady build into oblivion.

If anything else, The Devil succeeds in simply being something massively enjoyable to listen to, and this is likely to have been Autrey's goal all along. Although dabbling here and there in the mood of a horror movie, the diversity of of the album's content playfully keeps things light and energetic for the most part, driven by its goal to make you grin like a madman. In keeping things bouncing around and not getting weighed down by anything too heavy in nature, The Devil ends up being an easily accessible, yet rather original collection of material. It can sound a little repetitive in places, but this does very little to slow the album's momentum, and The Devil shines as an example of electronic metal almost at its finest.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aerisavion
October 7th 2015


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As always, feedback appreciated.

Toondude10
October 7th 2015


11706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"Unlike his peer, Klayton (of Celldweller')s grander, more theatrical musical outlet, Bret Autrey of Blue Stahli"



Something like, "Bret Autrey of Blue Stahli, unlike his more theatrical musical outlet Klayton (of Celldweller)" would sound a lot better



Good review otherwise. I'm a bit more indifferent on this. It's fun and 'Down in Flames' is a real banger but I can't remember half of this.

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

LotusFlower
October 7th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's lacking the punch that Klayton's production brought to the table, it just sounds like slightly above average radio rock.

Toondude10
October 7th 2015


11706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

with electronic/industrial elements

LotusFlower
October 7th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah, with electronic/industrial elements. not that there is anything wrong with it being similar to radio rock (with electronic/industrial elements).

Toondude10
October 7th 2015


11706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

The lyrics are really repetitive on here as well. Ready Aim Fire is a perfect example.

Aerisavion
October 8th 2015


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@toon - cheers for the feedback. Given it a quick rewrite and think it's better now. Was having issues with that opening line I must admit

Aerisavion
October 8th 2015


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers man - although I'll always love Celldweller, Blue Stahli's great if you don't want something so serious



rufinthefury
October 8th 2015


2951 Comments


Haven't listened to this guy in years. They were a staple of WoW PvP videos.

bloc
October 8th 2015


45120 Comments


Well this is certainly better than anything Celldweller has done in the past 10 years, that's good to know haha

Digging: Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver

LotusFlower
October 8th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yo bloc, end of an empire is great what are you smoking?

Aerisavion
October 9th 2015


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wish Upon A Blackstar is a solid album guys it deserves more credit

EvoHavok
October 9th 2015


7296 Comments


Yep, it has some jams.

Toondude10
October 9th 2015


11706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I prefer the deluxe edition of Blackstar

Aerisavion
October 9th 2015


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0



"I prefer the deluxe edition of Blackstar"



Absolutely. Flows far better and has more of a complete feel to it

LotusFlower
October 9th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, the deluxe edition isn't all that bad it feels pretty rusty. End of an Empire on the other hand sounds like a more complete version of it, and I cannot wait for the album in November.

Bhurke
October 11th 2015


37 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This album is so damn crazy

Beardog
November 12th 2015


1622 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review but this album dissapointed me, although it has some awesome tracks!

Toondude10
November 12th 2015


11706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Down In Flames is the best one here for sure. Album really lacks the punch that the s/t had.

Aerisavion
November 12th 2015


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey. Not Over Til We Say So is a beast.



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