by Cosmo Lee

The Devil's Blood is likely the only entity whose MySpace "Top Friends" include both Roky Erickson and Watain. At first, the Dutch band's brand of '70s psychedelic rock seems out of place palling around with black metal terrorists. But as details come into focus, the picture coalesces: (presumably fake) blood-drenched performances; occult-soaked lyrics ("Nightshade and devil root / Wolfsbane and eye of newt / Round and round and round and round we go"); a warm, feminine atmosphere.

Other bands like Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth (not to mention most of Tee Pee's roster) have tried such retro ritual magick this year. But Blood Ceremony sounded sterile, and Jex Thoth didn't have the songs. The Devil's Blood has both the sound and the songs. Crisp tunes with crisp execution make up Come, Reap (Ván/Profound Lore, 2008). But despite its electricity, its analog sound is seductively soft. Lucifer is more potent not standing behind a wall of flames, but crooking a finger and uttering the titular invitation. On the band's MySpace, one photo of the singer (the members remain nameless) is captioned, "The Mouth of Satan." Lilith, that mythical challenge to male hegemony, comes to mind. Not only does the devil have all the best tunes, she has the best guitar tones.

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