Amadis, Hell Devil! | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Amadis, Hell Devil! 

Album Review

Published November 3, 2010 at 7:31 a.m.


(Self-released, CD)

For those about to rock … hang on just a sec. Take AC/DC out of the tape deck of your Firebird and, assuming you’ve added a CD player at some point in the last 25 years, pop in Hell Devil! by Amadis, and get ready to redline your fucking engine. The latest from Burlington’s reigning cock-rocking metal maniacs is a scorching tour de force. It is a brisk, bracing three-song sampler that serves as a powerful reminder of just how potent Vermont metal can be.

Following a glorious, borderline-orchestral instrumental intro track — complete with transcendent guitars and a cannonade of thunderous drums — the EP begins in earnest with “Heavy Metal World.” The song explodes from the washout of the previous cut like a freight train about to run off the rails. Frantic, staccato guitar bursts drive forward at breakneck speed. Vocalist Sid Dystic holds court over the proceedings with malicious zeal. His soaring tenor squeals and howls with unhinged abandon, not unlike a young Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. But that band is a less obvious influence on Amadis than one might think, given that certain members moonlight in the local Maiden tribute band Made in Iron. Rather, the group takes cues from a slightly earlier era of metal, when bands like Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy were terrifying teenagers’ parents.

Amadis also bear an affinity for more relatively recent strains of the genre, including power metal, evident on the bruising title track. The song is slower in tempo than the preceding ditty, but no less intense. Over a deliberate, churning current of chunky guitar, Dystic shows impressive vocal range. He is as compelling a front man in lower registers as he is unleashing manic screams. Here, he combines both talents to great effect, framed by a chorus of backing harmonies and a maelstrom of guitar fury courtesy of axemen J.J. Harris and Franky Vitriol.

Of course, any great metal album, or even just a sampler, is not complete without an overblown epic. At nearly eight minutes, closing track “The Last Gaul” is just that. A pretty — yes, pretty — acoustic guitar line sets the bait before Amadis spring the trap with a virtual clinic on heavy-metal technical precision. Drummer Johan Sebastian Rock and bassist Gustavus Adolphus are in lockstep throughout, holding down the song’s hairpin turns as Vitriol and Harris trade increasingly Malmsteen-esque lead lines. Even if you’re not a fan of metal, you can’t help but appreciate the virtuosity on display here, and throughout Hell Devil!

Catch Amadis at City Limits in Vergennes with Victim of Metal, this Saturday.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation