Confidential – Devil Inside (Album Review)

Release Date: March 25th 2022 - Massacre Records

CONFIDENTIAL - Devil Inside

Confidential is a symphonic metal band from Norway formed in 2020, releasing four singles in the run-up to the release of their debut album ‘Devil Inside’.

Released in 2022, ‘Devil Inside’ is a mammoth twelve songs and fifty-four minutes of majestic symphonic swagger. Fronted by founder and songwriter Astrid K Mjoen, the album is described as “Astrid’s diary” – all songs are of a very personal character and tell stories from her life over the last few years. A number of special guest musicians feature on the album too – more about those later. For ‘Devil Inside’ gets underway with ‘Prelude To Resurrection’, a three-minute intense and anticipation fuelled build-up to the album’s title song ‘Devil Inside’ – crashing through the airways with total authority and screaming “here I am”. And here it most certainly is, up-tempo, bombastic, and punching hard as it strides on. A definite sit-up and take notice song, ‘Devil Inside’ (the album) is well underway, and plows on with the equally bold and bombastic ‘Salvation’ – featuring guest vocals from Jake E (Cyhra). The dual female and male vocals add a new and exciting dimension to the band’s sound – a sound that is fresh with infancy yet boasts the experience of maturity.

Moving into a more mellow realm, ‘Forever Angel’ is a symphonic ballad with a faultless vocal performance from Astrid – high on emotion and remaining just shy of soaring high into the clouds. And what a finish the song has too – and no, I’m not going to tell you, you’re just gonna have to listen and hear it for yourself! And without a break ‘Forever Angel’ segues straight into the bombastic barrage of ‘Release My Symphony’, picking up an intensity not yet heard on the album. The oomph of ‘Release My Symphony’ is spliced with slower passages to become a weaving, twisting, and turning journey of punchy symphonic metal. And with its epic keyboards leading the way, ‘Historia’ begins slow, building the tempo to become hard-hitting, and then swinging back and forth as it majestically strides on.

The bombastic symphonic arrangements of the album so far have been incredible, the staggering sat on the edge of your seat tension almost unbearable – and we’re only halfway through! Slowing the pace right down, and dropping the tempo to a crawl, ‘Queen Of The Dark’ imposes haunting melodies on the listener. And as ‘Queen Of The Dark’ progress, everything builds and starts to rise, the song taking on a completely different identity than it began with. However, as previous songs have shown, Confidential like to weave, twist and turn – with ‘Queen Of The Dark’ no exception. Keyboards and mellowness come to the fore once again with the emotional and beautifully sung ‘Brother Of My Soul’. Like the slower and mellower songs of earlier, ‘Brother Of My Soul’ is a heartfelt song that pulls at the emotional strings that hold our feelings together.

And as the album heads into its final third, ‘Prophecies’ picks up the intensity to become harder hitting than the last few songs, a bit punchy, a bit crunchy, and definitely a bit more upfront and in your face. Keyboards and the vocals of Astrid are the stars of the show with regards to ‘My Evermore’ – a simply stunning performance! And when ‘My Evermore’ takes on the mantle of a power ballad, I really wish I owned a lighter, so I can hold it high in the air with everyone else and salute a sparkling tune. Instead, I’ll just smile with huge appreciation. ‘My Kiss Of Death’ features two guest musicians – drummer Morten Gade Sorensen (Pyramaze), and Rikard Edberg (Eleine), who delivers the spoken word passage toward the end of the song, which by the way, is the punchiest tune on the album replete with a lovely crunchy guitar sound. The final song ‘Black Angel’ features Edberg once again, this time performing lead guitar, and also Eleine vocalist Madeleine Liljestam. The duo of Mjoen and Liljestam deliver powerful symphonic vocals over a haunting musical backdrop, bringing the curtain down on a wonderfully weaving, epic, and majestic journey of many twists and turns.

Overall, a meandering stroll of highly engaging symphonic arrangements with fast-paced and slower songs to varying the mood and feel.

TRACKLIST

Prelude To Resurrection
Devil Inside
Salvation (feat. Jake E)
Forever Angel
Release My Symphony
Historia
Queen Of The Dark
Brother Of My Soul
Prophecies
My Evermore (bonus)
My Kiss Of Death
Black Angel (feat. Madeleine Liljestam)

Confidential: Facebook

Release Year: 2022
Label: Massacre Records
Category: Album
Country: Norway

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.