The release of DEVILOOF’s newest single was already announced in January of 2020, with the release date itself being set for March 11. But the release was eventually delayed indefinitely. To the great surprise (and delight) of fans we didn’t have to wait for the single to be released anyway, as the band’s webshop promised that they would start shipping out the single starting August 7.
That being said, the fact that the single was only available through their own webshop rather than the familiar shops both in Japan and the ones that ship overseas was a bit of an (DEVIL)”OOF” moment for fans of the band. Luckily their webshop is able to process orders to overseas addresses, meaning that fans don’t have to miss out on this single, nor rely on a proxy service of any kind.
The single exists out of two songs, which are quite an interesting composition by themselves, but also hide a little bit of a secret in the lyrics department…
(Words: 大樹 (Daiki) / Music: Ray & 大樹 (Daiki))
Amusingly enough, the tracklist of the single is the opposite of the title, meaning that “Angel’s Cry” is the first song, and “Devil’s Calling” is the second song.
“Angel’s Cry” is the very first melodic speed metal work for DEVILOOF, which shows that the band is capable of more than what it says on their tin (in the sense of them being the heaviest band out there). Giving vocalist 桂祐 (Keisuke) the opportunity to show a style of vocals we’re really not used to hearing from him: clean vocals. (Are we sure it’s the same vocalist and not secretly a stand-in just for this song?) There are no screams or growls in “Angel’s Cry”, fitting the angelic theme the title of the song already suggests.
Despite being a completely different genre than their regular repertoire DEVILOOF still manages to entertain with this new direction, possibly even drawing the fans of listeners who normally would be put off by the regular aggressive style of the group.
“Angel’s Cry” is an experiment, at least according to the members themselves. But if you ask me, it is a success. While I’m unsure if future endeavors with this style will fit the aesthetic the band has with their albums, it’s a completely different, but positive, side to the DEVILOOF we normally see.
(Words: 大樹 (Daiki) / Music: 桂佑 (Keisuke))
The melodic speed metal is not the only experimental approach on this album, “Angel’s Cry” already ended with the start of an 8-bit sound, but “Devil’s Calling” opens with it. If you’re familiar with oldschool/retro gaming like for example “Castlevania” this style is instantly going to bring back memories. But only for a few seconds, because the song quickly changes back to the familiar style of DEVILOOF: hard, loud and heavy.
Where 桂祐 (Keisuke)’s vocals were soft and melodic with the previous song, “Devil’s Calling” is back to the regular scheduled programming for the group with the familiar grunts and growls that can only be produced by 桂祐 (Keisuke). The same can be said for the instrumentals, which are far more in the style we heard on the previous album “鬼 (Oni)”.
The 8-bit sound makes a return in the bridge section of the song, pulling the song into a whole piece rather than different elements by including it along with the instruments played by the members.
Getting your very own copy of the single might be a little bit trickier than usual due to the release only being available through DEVILOOF’s own webshop, but the extra effort is definitely worth it if you want to experience a different side of DEVILOOF for yourself.
With “Angel’s Cry” the band experimented with the melodic speed metal genre, showing that they’re more than just a “loud band”- excuse me- “the loudest band” in the ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) genre. While their previous release, the full album “鬼 (Oni)”, missed a few tiny elements here and there to connect some dots, “Devil’s Calling/Angel’s Cry” doesn’t miss these dots and connects them almost seamlessly despite both songs being a different genre entirely. Speaking of that, the lyrics… In the inlay for the physical CD itself there are only lyrics for “Angel’s Cry”, but “Devil’s Calling” is also credited as being written by 大樹 (Daiki). If you haven’t picked up on this yet: they’re essentially the same song in terms of lyrics, but executed in two entirely different styles. Speaking of experimental!
In short, this single is an excellent example of teamwork as well as knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your fellow members. While “鬼 (Oni)” was primarily written by 桂祐 (Keisuke), this single is mostly a collective effort between Ray and 大樹 (Daiki) with a little help of 桂祐 (Keisuke) in the second song.
Don’t let the challenge of “webshop only” orders put you off on this single, because I don’t think that we’re going to see works like this anytime soon in DEVILOOF’s discography from now on…
Are you interested in supporting the band by getting your own copy of the release? Here is something to get you started:
|Devil's Calling/Angel's Cry
01. Angel's Cry
02. Devil's Calling
Release: Devil’s Calling/Angel’s Cry (single)
Release date: August 2020
CD number: N/A (mail order only)
雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind both Arlequin Magazine and Arlequin Photography.
She started in 2009 as a photographer with Arlequin Photography, but due to a growing interest in journalism, translation and behind-the-scenes work in general the project burst out of it's seams in 2021 and expanded through the addition of Arlequin Magazine.
雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker and maintains both the English and Dutch sections of both Magazine and Photography with original content, translations and photography as well as all the behind-the-scenes work for both websites.
She speaks Dutch, English, Japanese and German.