The Devil and the Almighty Blues’ second album is right in line with the stoner blues template set up by the early works of The Midnight Ghost Train and All Them Witches. The guitar tone is gritty yet fluid, and the vocals are often delivered in a reverb drenched howl. In addition, the lengthy instrumental passages leave plenty of room for some sweet Allman Brothers-patented improvisational jamming.
But the songwriting approach is what sets this elaborately named blues band apart from the others. Songs like “These are Old Hands” may be long and drawn out, but they never lose sight of the grooves that allowed their fuzzy excursions to develop in the first place. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in these songs but it never seems to lose its almost danceable sense of rhythm.
The band also knows how to make emotional dynamics work for them. While most of the lyrics are nigh on unintelligible, songs like “When the Light Dies” and “Low” match the vocals with rising instrumentation. The climaxes never reach all out blues metal but they get pretty damn heavy all the same.
Plenty of bands in this modern blues style can boast the chemistry of The Devil and the Almighty Blues, but few can match its focus. Their second album is one that’s easy to zone out to but also shows much more purpose in its compositions. It may not win over those intimidated by long song lengths on principles, but it’s strongly recommended to those who see the movement as nothing more than feedback friendly wankery.
“These Are Old Hands”
“When the Light Dies”
II is now available from the group’s Bandcamp page.