DeVICIOUS – Never Say Never

I saw the name of the band and thought: “DeVicious sounds heavy. Probably a Metal band”. It’s not very often I hear a new Heavy Metal band that really kicks my butt and I hoped that maybe these guys would. Well, nothing could have been further from the truth. DeVicious turned out to be not a Metal band at all but an AOR band with big Melodic Rock tendencies. The band – Alex Frey (bass), Radivoj Petrovic (lead guitar), Gisbert Royder (rhythm guitar), Denis Kunz (keyboards), Lars Nippa (drums), and Serbian singer Zoran Sandorov (aka Mister Sanders) – is based in Germany and was founded back in 2016. The band hails 80’s Hard Rock (Stadium Rock, Melodic Rock, AOR) as the kind of music they’re influenced by, something that in 2018 isn’t exactly revolutionary. Fact is, even though I’m a big fan of that style, I’m beginning to think that the market is getting full and that new bands really needs something that makes them stand out from the rest. It’s up to DeVicious to prove that they’ve got what it takes to be a band to be reckoned with.

The album opens with the first single “Everything”, released some seven months ago. The tune is an uptempo AOR rocker with a pumping rhythm and lots of hooks where the refrain catches on pretty much on the go. Style wise, if you but Rick Springfield, Treat and H.E.A.T. in a blender, you’re pretty close. A very good tune and the fact that it was chosen as the first single is a no-brainer. So, I guess it’s nothing but natural that they follow it with the second single, “Penthouse Floor”. Same thing here, it’s a no-brainer as a single. It’s an upbeat, total AOR tune with a million hooks and a chorus so sweet and sugary you’ll need insulin to not collapse. The Pop refrain is so insanely catchy I get obstinate and don’t want to like it but I can’t help it, I totally dig the tune – great!

“One Track Mind” is not a single and an attempt to rock things up a bit. It’s still very much AOR with a big Pop vibe but not as saccharine as the previous songs. It’s a good, catchy tune and I like the slightly darker mood of the tune. “Lullaby”, however, is a single – the fourth one. The tune is more of an uptempo Pop ballad – pink, fluffy and very syrupy. It’s shamelessly catchy but this is sugar overkill and a bit too sweet for me. Not bad but too sticky. The pretty powerless power ballad “A Night To Remember” is not a single but I guess it might be one. It’s slick, smooth, cheesy, sugary and sticky. For us old-timers who remember the 80’s, this is the kind of tune they played last at the discotheque back in 1985. This is way to “meh” for me – skip button alert.

Mix Vega with H.E.A.T. and add sugar – lots of sugar – and a good dose of Pop and you’ll get “Crying In The Rain”, the third single. The refrain is catchier than wallpaper-glue and impossible to get out of the head and it is a good tune albeit just a bit too sweet for me to be able to digest fully. Single # 5, “Calling Angels” comes with laid-back verses that reminds me of a poppier Gotthard but the chorus brings on some heaviness and this actually rocks and even though it’s catchy, it’s not sugary at all and maybe not an obvious single choice. It’s more groove oriented with a raunchier beat – something that’s much needed at this point. A very good tune.

“Hand In Hand” is AOR in uptempo with a huge refrain that etches itself to the mind relentlessly and refuses to let go. But the lyric “hand in hand through the promised land” is way too cheesy for comfort. The lyrics to the song in general makes the song hard to listen to without cringing. Musically, it’s a pretty good song, though. The title track moves a bit outside of the box with a funky bass line and a groovy drum beat. The guitars are rawer and raunchier and they use an organ instead of the more 80’s synth sounds the rest of the songs sports. It’s still very much a Melodic Rock tune but with bigger influences from 70’s Hard Rock. It’s the album’s heaviest song and easily the best one as well. They close the album with the latest single, the ballad “The Silence”. It’s a dark, stripped and melancholic slowie with only piano and vocals – very organic, emotional, heartfelt and dynamic. A very beautiful track and my second favorite tune – awesome!

As a whole, this album sure has its ups and downs. For the down-part, the sound is somewhat dated at times and it brings me back to the mid 80’s where keyboards were just as important as guitars, where guitars were at times playing second fiddle to the keyboards and vocals. That makes the over all sound very slick, smooth, poppy and syrupy. The production is also a bit too light-weight and lacks heaviness and attitude. On the good side, the guys have written some damn good and catchy tunes and even though they’re not the most original band in the world, musically, many songs are good enough to let that slide. But with a couple of fillers too many, the album doesn’t really grab me hard enough and at times my mind wanders off while listening – not a good sign. There are potential here without a doubt but it just won’t go all the way. A pretty good album that could – and should – have been a lot better.

5/10

Tracklist:

1. Everything
2. Penthouse Floor
3. One Track Mind
4. Lullaby
5. A Night To Remember
6. Crying In The Rain
7. Calling Angels
8. Hand In Hand
9. Never Say Never
10. The Silence

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