Hardcore skin-kicker’s back pages revisited and dusted off. Sneezes and surprises are guaranteed.
You can’t help but admire Mr. May’s prowess on a kit and respect his humanitarian activities, yet investigating London’s roots may involve some risk. A veteran of many an ensemble, the drummer is most known for his stints with SAMHAIN, and this compilation houses a live take on “To Walk The Night” from 1999 – which, of course, isn’t that early a cut – to demonstrate continuity in the artist’s oeuvre and set his hits against misses. Easily admitting he can be a wrong man for a rhythmic job, the veteran didn’t shy away from including here a memento of his audition for CIRCLE JERKS, a first-time rendition of “Wonderful” that’s as fierce in delivery as it is awful in sound quality, yet ultimately “Devilution” will be cherished only by noise scene über fans.
No one else would remember Baltimore skinheads RAT PATROL with whom the drummer honed his chops as 1983’s “Fist Fight” succinctly shows, May thumping the skins without much groove, yet “Talons And Claws” which he laid down with REPTILE HOUSE two years later is high on imagination – if not some substances – and it’s London’s shifting time signatures that spice up this piece of skronk. More so, there’s thunderstorm on VOICE OF DOOM’s “What I See” courtesy of May’s metal explorations, as opposed to his emotional support of melody on Reuben Radding’s “Shaky On The Wrong Floor” – both tracks taken out of the artist’s 1987 scrapbook – and LUNCH BOX’s blues-minded “Nuthin’” sees London rocking and rolling with much gusto alongside tasty guitar of T.S.O.L.’s Ron Emory. Into the ’90s, the catchy murk of “How Many More?” by DOGPILE finds May tumble the tempo all over his toms, but Steve Albini-recorded DISTORTED PONY numbers are too delirious to make sense outside the core community – ever those who’s eager to listen to previously unreleased material.
A treasure trove for an aficionado, “Devilution” has charm, although its appeal is very limited.