Incoming | The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back

The opening bars of ‘The Devil’s Whisper’, the first track on The Devil Wants Her Swagger Backs upcoming EP Malice, set the tone for a visually evocative creation. A discordant, eerie piano intro instantly conjures images of darkness and calm before a storm, which slowly builds until lead single ‘Casualties’ kicks in with the all the aggression one would anticipate from a metal band such as this.

“This is our statement of how we feel about the world and how serious we are when it comes to what we do,” notes drummer Ryan Cummins. “It’s a passion that cannot be stopped.”

‘Casualties’, like the rest of what follows, is a whirlwind of visceral lyrics, vitriolic themes and solid instrumentation, leaving no doubt that The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back are dedicated to their craft. This is no slapdash effort, rather a refreshing, slickly executed production. “It’s one of those songs that came together so naturally,” says bassist Dylan Scully. “We started out with one riff and jammed it out in about 10 minutes. We all knew where the other wanted to go in the ebb and flow of the song. ‘Casualties’ really captures our energy; there’s a constant movement to it. It never gives you a break.”

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Having formed three years ago, the four-piece violently exploded onto the Irish metal scene in 2014, quickly securing themselves a slot at the sold out Slipknot album launch party in The Mezz that autumn, a turn at the same metal titans’ after party in 2015, and a UK tour this summer. Set to drop on October 1, Malice shows the fruits of the last two years’ worth of work. Following on from first EP Sign Here…, their newest work demonstrates leaps and bounds in band maturity – both in terms of sound and quality.

Malice displays collective dexterity and command over both the writing process and execution. The final bars of ‘Casualties’ take a two-second breather before ‘Off The Wall’ kicks into a melodic frenzy of the sort that listeners will hopefully come to expect of The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back. ‘Off the Wall’ quickly transitions into ‘2.0thless’, the second coming of a track of the same name that previously featured on their debut EP. Amid wailing sirens and heavy, solid riffs that are almost a defining characteristic of this new effort, Stephen Cannon’s vocals rip through acrimonious lyrics, and there is no doubt that the gutturally screamed line ‘this is your last warning’ will quickly become lyrically synonymous with the band as their popularity grows. Of the six tracks, ‘2.0thless’ makes the most immediate and lasting impression.

While it’s true that Malice and, by proxy, the Devil boys themselves will not be to every genre fan’s taste, this is a powerful production, one that should mark the true beginning of their career. “We hope that Malice manages to strike a chord with as many people as possible”, says Cannon. Methodically thematic from beginning to end, his band’s latest offering is deliciously dark and evokes feelings of despair, anger and frustration in the best way possible.