Women vocalists always seem to be an after thought in the rock genre. But thanks to greats like Lizzy Hale, Maria Brink, Amy Lee, and Taylor Momsen rock bands led by female vocalists are finally gaining much deserved attention and ground. Devilskin is going to push that envelope even further.
Devilskin is a well-established and chart-topping band in their home country of New Zealand, but they have yet to make a major inroad in the USA…yet. Their sophomore release, Be Like The River, was released on November 11 of this year and is an impressive compilation of hard rock tracks from an impressive female vocalist and a talented group of musicians.
Lead vocalist Jennie Skulander has an amazing voice with an incredible range not only in octaves but also in style. She can go from a strong husky style to a sweet melodic flow to a fierce metal roar all within the same song. Witness it on tunes like Grave, Limbs, F.Y.I., or Rise. All songs that clearly tell a story of an emotional journey that she tells not only with her lyrics but also with her various vocal styles.
On other songs you can almost feel her strength bleeding through the speakers. On Voices she sings, “I have an army and their voices are loud. I will rise again! Watch my army descend.” Her voice on the song Animal backed by a rhythmic pulse from the band is absolutely mesmerizing. When she sings, “I stand a woman, not an animal,” you can almost feel strength run through your veins while you listen.
All of the songs seem to come from such a raw and real place. You can feel the pain and the triumph and the strength come through in her voice and in the music that drives every song.
Skulander is backed up by a group of experienced musicians who are also family members – Paul (bass) and Nic (drums) Martin are father and son and guitarist Nail is Paul’s twin brother. Whether it is the family bond or the musical bond or a little of both, the chemistry between the group members is phenomenal. The sound is almost orchestral at times and brilliantly complements Skulander’s voice in a perfect mix that truly affects you when you listen. You will relate to the lyrics and you will be moved by the music.
If you haven’t checked out this group yet, you are missing out. If you are a fan of bands like Halestorm and Evanescence and In This Moment, you will find a new favorite in Devilskin.
Review: Cathy Moore