When a record comes to you supplied by a label such as Melodic Rock Records, one would expect, well melodic rock. And yes there’s tons of melody ingrained in Devoid‘s Cup of Tears release. But there’s more. So much more. Power metal, I hear glorious power metal all over Cup of Tears. Some symphonic leanings are also involved. Simply put this record smashes at a high energy pace tearing you a new asshole from beginning to completion. The album became available via Melodic Rock Records way back in October 2017. And now it has found its way to Decibel Geek.
Cup of Tears is the debut offering from Devoid. And right away there are some super power names involved here. Although I shouldn’t have been, one name surprised me while reading the PR. Some time ago an album made quite an impression on the Decibel Geek crew, Lavalle’s Dear Sanity. The vocalist for the release was German Carsten “Lizard” Schulz. The world-renowned rock and metal vocalist has his hand in many projects past and present. These include fronting Evidence One and his own Carsten “Lizard” Schulz Syndicate. Numerous guest spots and writing credits on albums from bands such as Eden’s Curse, Russell Allen and Mat Sinner’s Level 10, and Canadians Heavens Fire to list a few.
Other guest musicians for Devoid‘s Cup of Tears include Mattias la Eklundh (Freak Kitchen – guitar), Henrik Danhage (Evergrey – guitar), Daniel Palmqvist (Beyond the Katakomb – guitar) and Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear/Free Fall – guitar). The band members are reported as Shad Mae (guitars), Jorris Guilbaud (keyboards), Ben Toquet (bass) and Ben Wanders (drums). The French outfit is the brainchild of guitarist extraordinaire, Shad Mae. Also known as Mael Saout or Shaydon.
DEVOID – Cup of Tears – Album Review
Of the twelve tracks on Cup of Tears, only three are south of the four-minute mark, and five are north of five minutes runtime. So, not skimpy on the rock in this release. We get going with the “grab you by the throat”, “make you sit up and take notice” of “Soldiers” featuring a virtual Schulz playground. His vocals are truly captivating and simply stunning. It’s no wonder he is in demand. Musically I’d describe it as Progressive with Power Metal sensibilities, but all the while chock full of melodies. A great introduction to Devoid and lead out to Cup of Tears.
Akin to riding in the front car of a skyward-reaching roller coaster as it falls, collecting speed and whips around the bends, twists, turns, and loops, Cup of Tears is also as such. With Schulz‘s vocals in the forefront let’s not forget the guitar work in here. Each song has strategically positioned, tasteful, 80s reminiscent but not dated soloing. Whether those be supplied by Mae or his guests, they are expertly crafted and served.
The entire collection is soaring. The thrashy progressive pounding of “Collective Heart”. A soft start to “The Clock Is Ticking” eludes to a slower mid-pace composition. Wrong, it absolutely erupts about a minute in. The comforting acoustic guitar work of the two-minute instrumental, “Final Breath”. A heaviness is featured in “Mind Keeper”. The haunting Middle Eastern feel at the outset of “Hollow Point”.