The Devil – Blue Stahli

My buddy Mike introduced me to this electronic metal album when we were in high school, and it is just bop after bop. It’s a little bit poppier than Blue Stahli’s self-titled album, with more immediately satisfying harmonies and more energetic, anthemic hooks, but that’s not a bad thing here. The electronic instruments feel alive and organic, as if some kind of creatures are making them, but they still manage to mesh well with those satisfyingly heavy guitar chords. The percussion on this album (which I think, but cannot confirm, was done by Celldweller) is really cool, serving as the driving force behind energetic jams like “Armageddon” and alternating between patterns that wouldn’t be out of place on a drum and bass track. This is the type of album that will send a chill up your spine; that’s the only way to react when the smooth, calming production suddenly turns jagged on tracks like “Ready Aim Fire” (by the way, another perfect drum track) and “Shoot Em Up”. Oh, and, by the way, the lyrical content consistently induces terror without ever feeling cheesy; perhaps it’s just the way Blue Stahli’s fantastic vocals sell every word. There are just so many great moments on this album, including: the major-mode triplet pre-chorus on “Rockstar”, the fresh, funky riff behind “Shoot Em Up”, the chorus mix on “Enemy”, the existence of “The Beginning”, and the groove to “Demon”, which specifically makes one wish to stomp their feet in a barn. “The Fall” is a standout track for its anthemic chorus, the beautiful opening riff, the constant cool electronic fills, and the way the vocals just drip down from the ceiling in the pre-chorus. This masterpiece of composition and production is absolutely my top album recommendation to listen to at low volume so you don’t utterly destroy your ears.

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