Devil’s Playground – The Collector

    Within just a few months of forming in late 2015, Birmingham act Devil’s Playground had already released a self-titled EP and built up a busy touring schedule. By winning the final of the Coventry Metal 2 the Masses competition in 2017, the Brummie sextet earnt themselves a coveted place on the New Blood Stage at that year’s sold out Bloodstock Open Air Festival, playing to a packed out tent and gaining plenty of new fans in the process.

    Having set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of an album, the band quickly raised enough to record and release The Collector, their independently released full-length debut. Combining a Hardcore/Metalcore base with a Eurometal sound – the band’s influences range anywhere from Hatebreed to Lacuna Coil to Bullet For My Valentine, the guttural roar of joint frontman Matt Pointon augmented by clean vocals from Leanne Nardone.

    Never deviating too far from their formula, the band’s differing styles interlock well within their overall framework. Dancey keyboards and a punchy rhythm section accompany the quick-fire riffing and brutal breakdowns of guitarists Ian Hiseman and Luke Neath, while the vocals are split fairly evenly between the two singers, each one getting a chance to shine without ever dominating the other.

    If you ever wondered how Slipknot would sound if they added Cristina Scabbia, and the occasional Iron Maiden riff into the mix, then cuts like ‘Are You Ready to Play’, ‘Unlost’, and closer ‘Fortune’s Hand’ would be reasonably close to the mark. And with the rest of the album featuring its fair share of aggressive fist-pumping bangers and catchy hooks, The Collector makes for a solid debut which shows plenty of promise for the future.

    7 / 10



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