The Devil’s Rejects, a new blackish thrash metal band from Oslo Norway drenched in horror themes, invited a selective few of their closest friends and bangers for an intimate hour of blood death and gore.
It was a special evening, especially for the band itself as this was their first ever concert, and was meant as kind of a ‘let us see how well we perform in front of an audience’ kind of setting, so to experience what works and what should improve. They just recently as well released their first demo, The Blood Feast Demo Tape on Snake Oil Kassettforlag. So this whole gathering was a closed and private event, an exam so to say. The stage had some props in the minor league of Necrophagia, with skulls and severed limbs, all set for a night in front of somewhere around 40 to 50 people in total.
After a creepy intro filled with samples from old horror-movies, the band starts ripping into their brand of heavy metal and blackened thrash metal with the song Color Me Blood Red which is a real grinder and great opener.
The Devil’s Rejects doesn’t really rely on much intensity and speed in their riffs, but rather focuses on mid paced and uncomplicated catchy tunes that make your feet tap and head nod. It can though, get a bit too slow and repetitive. I especially made note of this on the song Nude For Satan, which I found quite uninteresting and my thoughts wandered off into what I should order from the bar next… not very complimentary. Who knows, since it’s a song that has not been released, maybe I’d appreciate it more live if I’d had the chance to listen to it a few times back home before the gig. There’s always a next time! But except for Nude For Satan, I found the songs from the demo tape as well as the even newer songs that are ready for the upcoming album to be solid live material. I’m sure there are improvements to be made in the setlist-department, but that was the whole point of the gig in the first place, to see what works and not.
The Devil’s Rejects gave it their all, and it was obvious that this band practices often and isn’t taking the task of playing in a band light hearted. Nord on drums and Monsen on bass laid the foundation with excellent precision, rocking out and creating that underlying catchiness throughout, with Serigstad keeping the audience occupied with the rules of handling the rhythm guitar. A well oiled machinery!
The brain, Runar Pettersen, is lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of the band, and has been working on these songs for quite some time, finally created a band in which he can put them into good use. I liked his approach and character on stage, not being afraid of looking people in the eye as he sings, and always standing with his legs far apart, like good ol’Hetfield. I got to say though, it was a minor disappointment seeing him drinking from a vitamin bottle instead of a chalice filled with blood in between songs. Surely this will be taken care of ’til the next gig.
All in all, The Devil’s Rejects passed their exams with flying colors. With an improved and 15 minute shorter set list (for the time being), this band is ready to hit the streets!
Words and photos by U.