Vulgar Devils - Official Website

Witches Wheel

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Awaken The Night
2. Bringing Hell
3. Lost Souls
4. Black Talons
5. Witches Wheel
6. Wild And High
7. In The Gutter Again
8. Death Or Victory / Give Me Speed
9. Ready To Rock

Review by Vladimir on February 27, 2024.

If you are in the mood to check out something bloody and awkwardly sexy at the same time, then you should probably stick with me on this journey. In this review, I’ll be covering the US heavy metal band Vulgar Devils, with the lineup consisted of three current and one former member of Destructor. Vulgar Devils had already presented themselves with their debut album Temptress Of The Dark in 2016, however, they returned with their second full-length album Witches Wheel on February 29th, 2024, released via Witches Brew. 

As the ritual begins with the opening track 'Awaken The Night', we witness the flames burning high alongside some fine heavy metal. During this entire album’s runtime, you will notice that the majority of the songs on this album are quite simple rhythmic rockers filled with catchy guitar riffs, mid-tempo drums and epic singing vocals, with some exemplary tunes like 'Bringing Hell', 'Black Talons' and 'Death Or Victory' that stand out the most. The songs are stylistically very similar to each other which makes this a very easy listening all the way through, without ever losing track of what is going on. 

The album has very simple and straightforward songwriting which consists of basic heavy metal ideas that don’t necessarily possess anything so incredibly unique or dynamic. You will notice that it is mostly rock and roll all the way through, very much in the style of well-known oldschool heavy metal bands like Saxon, Grave Digger, Angel Witch, Judas Priest and others. However, that isn’t to say that this album is really all that great because it does have one glaring issue that prevents it from being exceptional. The biggest issue about this album is that it feels very formulaic and repetitive in the sense that the songs just follow one basic pattern and just stick to it, without there ever being any instance of heading towards a different direction or perhaps a memorable riff that stays trapped in your mind. On the first half of the album, it feels mostly alright and acceptable, and it really is no big of a deal, however during the second half it really becomes generic and unamusing as it goes because it sounds all too familiar. What saves it from being a very dry experience are a couple of the aforementioned tracks which are mostly better than the rest and possibly the only ones that feel less generic. One big thing that can’t be left out is the album’s cover art, which looks incredibly over the top, but nevertheless it’s quite sexy and bloody at the same time, and I would probably buy a shirt with that album cover just to walk around town and piss off conservative citizens. The album cover may be considered a bit unconventional for a very traditional heavy metal, and possibly more suitable to something more extreme like thrash, death or black metal, but I think it can be easily overlooked if you don’t really care about the album cover and you just want to hear the musical output. The album production is fairly alright, but the good thing about it is that everything sounds and feels organic for a modern-produced record. 

Personally, I wish we got something more out of this album that would really make me come back and listen to it again, but it is ultimately let down by its wasted potential of the album’s overall lackluster nature. On the other hand, it is an alright album in the end and it’s not something that you should completely avoid just because I had a hard time trying to get more fun out of it. I respect that Vulgar Devils aren’t trying to achieve anything fancy or appealing for a wider audience, but I think that they should definitely take into consideration to make their next effort a real banger that would really be worthy of its reputation.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10