Bible of the Devil - The Diabolic Procession
Cruz Del Sur Music
NWOBHM
9 songs (45'42")
Release year: 2006
bibleofthedevil.com, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

Just like my favorite hockey team (which lost its playoff series this weekend), I always have lots of respect for the guys with less means, but those who show up and play hard every night, no matter the odds. Chicagoans Bible of the Devil epitomize this feeling for me with The Diabolic Procession on Italian Cruz Del Sur label.

Those of you who think that Iron Maiden’s first two records were the ultimate and Paul Di’Anno years by far overshadow anything the band has done with Bruce (is there anyone like that?) will take a lot of solace in The Diabolic Procession. This record borrows significantly from the burgeoning NWOBHM scene of the late 70s/early 80s and fuses it with an attempt for epic songwriting and urban punk attitude, all at the same time.

The album deals with the story of Children’s Crusade, another dark page from the Middle Ages. The legend says that some boy in the early 1200s in Germany or France saw the vision of Jesus telling him to go to the Holy Land and start converting people into the lore of Christianity. This psychopath was joined by the crowd of many poor and economically disadvantaged kids. To get to Jerusalem Mediterranean Sea was supposed to part, so the kids could walk, but nothing of the kind happened. Having hired a few boats somewhere in Italy, the kids ended up dead from shipwrecks, starvation or being sold into slavery in North Africa. This is what fanaticism can do …

Epic story calls for epic songs, and Bible of the Devil provide that, on occasion. The Elusive Miracle leads off with an acoustic interlude, gets really heavy with a strong bass presence, before a fast section with twin guitar leads emerges. The cycle finishes off slow and heavy in the end again. Orphans of Doom shines on with another strong epic riff, which takes nothing away from the rawness of the expressed emotions. The closer Slaves also proceeds along the lines of slower doomy riffing, milking the melody for all its worth.

However, to prove my early Maiden comparison point Heinous Corpus busts forward with clear-cut galloping riffs and Millenialism and Judas Ships are replete with the Killers-style singing done over and above myriad little guitar leads.

Despite the ambitious story and grand posture that had to be taken as a result, the rebels inside Bible of the Devil are alive and well. The opener Ecclesia Novorum Innocentium blasts out with a droning single-note riff and screamy punk vocals, while Legions of the Oriflamme is some rhythm-shifting choppy thrash. The leads on the album often start in harmony only to follow down the path of many atonal diversions (Ecclesia Novorum Innocentium, Sepulchre). Epic NWOBHM and stoner punk battle almost to a standstill on The Diabolic Procession.

Where this battle will be lost for many melodic metal fans is the album’s production. My biggest question is whether the razor-thin sound happened by design or was it simply a lack of budget, and thus my early underdog analogies. The aforementioned raw emotions are, of course, expressed better with something less polished, but when your drums and, especially, cymbals are a mottled mess, it does nobody any good. I could care less for guitars periodically sliding off in dissonance, but the bottom end (not always present here) and sharper drumming would have made the record much stronger. What works for the fellow Illinoisans Dawnbringer does not work on The Diabolic Procession.

Bible of the Devil typifies the type of metal bands Cruz Del Sur seems to be plucking here in North America. Not faceless Euro power metal, Bible of the Devil, Slough Feg, Antiquus, etc. have their own unique face, sometimes non-conformal, but always manly and rough around the edges. With all of The Diabolic Procession sound shortcomings, the record is a grower, given a chance.

Killing Songs :
Ecclesia Novorum Innocentium, Orphans of Doom, Heinous Corpus
Alex quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by Bible of the Devil that we have reviewed:
Bible of the Devil - Freedom Metal reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
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