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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2013
I bought this album for my kid cousin when it first came out. She liked Enter Shikari, MCR, and other so called emo bands, and gut feel was it would be a good fit. She loved it.

A couple of months later my instinct was telling me to get this album even though I'm not a fan of the music she liked, and hadn't heard a song or seen reviews, but eventually I gave in and bought it. The last time I did that was in the 90's when I picked up Afghan Whigs masterpiece, Gentlemen. This decision was as good as that one.

I play my favourite albums to death, until I don't fancy listening to them any more, as the mystique stripped away leaves them ordinary. This goes for classics Nevermind, Stone Roses debut and Definitely Maybe. They just don't hold the depth they did, yet I still love them all, just not in the same way.

The Devil... is different. It is a rare album that keeps that aura, no matter how many times listened and dissected, no matter how many times you find meanings behind the songs. It just carries that magic. From the build up of Sowing Season, it just impresses with every track. Jesus Christ is beautiful, without failing to leave me reflecting on questions I won't ever really understand. Limousine breaks your heart. "I love you so much, do me a favour don't reply" is emotive enough before you understand what is really being sung about.

You Won't Know and Not The Sun let adrenaline loose inside me, though are usurped by The Archers, which shudders my chest at every punch of the chorus, every time "free-eezing over hell".

For me though, the finest song on the album is Degausser. It tempts you, coerces you, takes you, then drags you on a journey with control, venom, despair, loss, passion, self loathing and anger. It has to be played loud, and when the song closes with "the storm is coming in", you are left exhausted but better for the experience. It is cathartic.

The Devil is without doubt a masterpiece.
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on 20 February 2007
Ok, first things first. I've never liked 'Your Favourite Weapon'. Barring a couple of nice lyrical touches, it never struck me as having much to differentiate itself from anything else within its genre, so when 'The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows' came out, followed by 'Deja Entendu', i couldn't believe it was the same band. I took to the album instantly and it was easily among my favourites of that year. Plus you have to admire any band that calls themselves Brand New and then titles their second album 'Already Heard'.

Anyway, to the present. The development of this band continues to astound me, and with 'The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me' they have separated themselves from any notions of 'scene' or the dreaded word 'emo' by making an artful, intelligent and experimental rock album that defies all expectations. Opening with 'Sowing Season', the effect is like Jesse Lacey stopped playing 'Play Crack The Sky' at the end of 'Deja Entendu' and simply started another song. Then the yell of 'Yeah' comes in and the transition between the two albums is complete. Whereas 'Deja Entendu' had a smooth, warm groove running through it that helped to sell the bitterness of some of the lyrics, this album pulls no such punches. The drums are huge throughout, the guitars move from soothing to jarring several times within one song, and running times stretch to 8 minutes. This is not intended be an easy listen, and the first run through the album is a little alienating but the layers of the songs come to the foreground in time, and it reveals itself to be a much more complete and coherent album than their previous efforts. It is difficult to separate individual outstanding tracks, but i would choose the somber 'Jesus', the early-REM-sounding 'Millstone' and the prog-infused 'Limousine' as personal high points.

Judging from the artwork and the inclusion of two instrumental tracks, the band have been listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor and other members of the Constellation family, and it really serves to add an extra element to Brand New's burgeoning sound. As with the previous album, the lyrics are outstanding, with reflections on religion, uncertainty and death presented in a more mature way, with less of the sarcasm and humour that listeners have come to expect.

I have no hesitation to recommend this to anyone that has an interest in new music, if your taste inhabits a space anywhere between Tool and Nick Drake then i guarantee there will be something to love on this record. My only minor gripe with it is that you have to send $1 in order to receive a copy of the lyrics, it seems to be a cynical ploy that exploits the fact that so many people highlight the lyrics on a Brand New album.
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on 7 February 2007
For those reviews on here that see this album as a loss of form for Brand New compared to Deja Entendu, you are failing to allow the band to evolve and explore new ground.

This album has a wealth of emotional depth and is a deeply introspective work by Jessie Lacey - who is undoubtedly one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation. Tracks such as Jesus Christ and You Won't Know are brutally honest in their portrayal of lost love and loneliness.

Having seen the band live recently, Lacey sang with raw emotion leaving no doubt about the heartfelt nature of Brand New's music.

While the album does contain a number of brooding slow burners, there are still plenty of opportunities for them to rock out - such as the Archers Bows Have Broken, which is an infectious track complete with searing riffs and Lacey's emotive vocals.

Ignore the doubters: it deserves a place in your collection.
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on 19 February 2007
when i heard brand new were bringing out a new album, i wasn't too excited. there were a couple of songs i'd liked from 'deja entendu' (i'd really loved 'guernica' and 'tommy gun') but most of it i didn't think was that good. 'your favourite weapon' i thought was even worse.

so when brand new brought out 'devil and god', i downloaded the first track i could find and had a listen, but didn't really expect much. that was 'sowing season'. it blew me away, the lyrical content, the chorus - everything. i moved on to 'jesus christ', 'archers' and 'handcuffs' (the easiest songs to get into on the album) but when i first heard the others, i didn't like them. over a couple of months, i somehow got them all, kept listening, and now i honestly think 'the devil and god is raging inside me' is one of the best albums out there. beautifully consistent, lyrically charged and filled with dark emotion that just won't quit, i can't even tell you how glad i am that i found this. every time i listen to it, it just gets better and better.

i'll go through the songs one by one (though words can only say so much):

'sowing season': claustrophobic, honest, and fantastically produced. the 'YEAH' chorus is proper head banging stuff, and the lyrics relate to a million litarary and emotional sources (including rudyard kipling's 'If'). you want to listen to it over and over again, cry to it, break down to it, or just use to keep going. it's easy to get into, it's beautiful, i wouldn't say it's the greatest song on the album 'cause they're all so different, but it's the one i play the most.

'I'm NOT your friend. i'm NOT your lover. i'm NOT your family. YEAH.' - legendary.

'degausser': i found this song incredibly hard to get into, it doesn't grow on you fast. after you play it fifteen times though, you'll never go back. lyrically, i think it's the best song on the album - i've found myself writing the lyrics on random bits of paper, all over my myspace, my blackberry, everything. there's something incredibly, darkly sensual about it - it might seem common and unsuccessful at first, but believe me, by the end it'll be in your top three favourites.

'Goodbye to love.....Well it's alright, i'll push you up, right agaisnt the wall.........' it's not happy, but it makes unhappiness beautiful. the whole album does that, acually.

'millstone': this isn't so hard to get into, but i wouldn't say it's as rewarding as 'degausser'. it's good, it's really good, and if it was by any other band i'd say it was amazing. but because it's brand new, it's not the best track here. it's about being choked by your past, by everything you've become, the lyrics are universally applicable and far more specific than any other song.

'I used to know the name of every person i kissed, now i've made this bed and i can't fall asleep in it'

'you won't know': i didn't like it the first few times i played it. i liked a chorusy bit at the end that burst into an angry 'You're talking smack, you're a heart attack, but you're the apple of my eye anyway', and the rest of it has totally grown on me. it starts off quiet as hell, but bursts into angry tones that just won't quit. the lyrics are really good, but like every other song, they're not ABOUT anything specific. they're about anything and everything, applicable to a lot of dark situations, though this one has a lot of references to death. again, i can't explain to you how good it is, you'll have to go and listen.

'so pray, little kay, love is just god on a good day. and you can't blame your mother, she's trying not to see you as her worst mistake. and i wish that i could tell you, right now, i love you, but it looks like i won't be around, so you won't know'

'jesus christ': the fans' favourite, easy to get into, the most ballad-like, and though it's dark, there's hope here, too. 'Jesus Christ, that's a pretty face....' the lyrics are sad little feelings that everybody feels, though when they're on paper they just sound angsty. it's an honest, beautiful, simple song. if you want to get a taste for this album without experiencing the whole thing, listen to this and 'sowing season'. it's very good, but it's not the pure brilliance you can find elsewhere on this album.

'Not the sun': its the only song on the album that projects the same sort of emotions as another, 'you won't know', though they sound different. it's heartfelt, frustrated, and works perfectly with all the other tracks. i don't think it's anyone's favourite, but i wouldn't say it's not good. 'Say you're my friend, but why won't you be my family??'

'limousine': epic, seven-minute brilliance, a little like 'degausser' in that way. also very hard to get into. sounds pathetic at first, drab, feeble, but once you listen to it, you realize it just seeps with pain. its about a real-life seven-year-old child who was killed coming back from a wedding by a drunk-driver, though you wouldn't know it unless you looked it up. i sing this in the shower, the lyrics mean so much to me. it's not immediately beautiful by any means, and repetitive (though it gets deeper, darker and more painful every time the two main lines are repeated) but once you realize how amazing it is, you'll never let it go.

'You're so free....Yeah, you were right about me. Can i get myself out from underneath, this guilt that will crush me, and in the choir, i saw a sad messiah, he was bored and tired of my laments, said 'I died for you one time but never again' '

'luca': the song i like least on this album, though i still play it, like it and sing it all the time. for me, it just has less lyrical meaning that the other songs on this beautiful album. again, it's not easy or particularly hard to get into, not rewarding or unrewarding, but it's not bland. it deserves to be on this album, just not to get top marks. 'So touch me or don't........just let me know, where you've been'

'archers': i would say it's most like anything on 'deja entendu'. it doesn't seep brilliance like 'degausser' and 'limousine', but it's punchy, emotional and easy to love. it's fairly lyrically powerful and it's not as dark as everything else on here, and originally i really liked it. it got old pretty quick, though....it's nice, it's very good, but there's no staying power for the song (maybe the lyrics, though).

'handcuffs': i like it, i don't love it. it's claustrophobic, dark and quietly painful, easy to get into. some people say it's their favourite, and lyrically amazing. the instrumental part behind the singing is better than the singing itself, particularly the violin, and the lyrics have meaning, but you don't feel the pain like on most of the songs on this album.

'welcome to bangkok' and 'untitled' - both basically instrumental, both good, but i'm not too big on instrumental stuff, and i won't fully review them. i do like 'welcome to bangkok' more than 'untitled', though, and it sounds like a lot of the songs without the words.

i liked this album so much that i downloaded all the demos that were accidentally released in january, before the album was officially released. the demoes are badly produced and some of them sound a lot like their better counterparts on 'devil and god', but some of them are just about as good as this album: 'demo #5', 'demo #4' and (less good but worth a listen if you like 'devil and god') 'demo #7.'

in conclusion: buy this album. if you have a deep appreciation for music other than bubblegum pop and can see past the emo tag (which this album is definately not), if you're going through a hard time or just want to see the beauty in breakdown, or hell, just want to hear some very good music, get this album.
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on 3 April 2007
when i heard brand new were bringing out a new album, i wasn't too excited. there were a couple of songs i'd liked from 'deja entendu' (i'd really loved 'guernica' and 'tommy gun') but most of it i didn't think was that good. 'your favourite weapon' i thought was even worse.

so when brand new brought out 'devil and god', i downloaded the first track i could find and had a listen, but didn't really expect much. that was 'sowing season'. it blew me away, the lyrical content, the chorus - everything. i moved on to 'jesus christ', 'archers' and 'handcuffs' (the easiest songs to get into on the album) but when i first heard the others, i didn't like them. over a couple of months, i somehow got them all, kept listening, and now i honestly think 'the devil and god is raging inside me' is one of the best albums out there. beautifully consistent, lyrically charged and filled with dark emotion that just won't quit, i can't even tell you how glad i am that i found this. every time i listen to it, it just gets better and better.

i'll go through the songs one by one (though words can only say so much):

'sowing season': claustrophobic, honest, and fantastically produced. the 'YEAH' chorus is proper head banging stuff, and the lyrics relate to a million litarary and emotional sources (including rudyard kipling's 'If'). you want to listen to it over and over again, cry to it, break down to it, or just use to keep going. it's easy to get into, it's beautiful, i wouldn't say it's the greatest song on the album 'cause they're all so different, but it's the one i play the most.

'I'm NOT your friend. i'm NOT your lover. i'm NOT your family. YEAH.' - legendary.

'degausser': i found this song incredibly hard to get into, it doesn't grow on you fast. after you play it fifteen times though, you'll never go back. lyrically, i think it's the best song on the album - i've found myself writing the lyrics on random bits of paper, all over my myspace, my blackberry, everything. there's something incredibly, darkly sensual about it - it might seem common and unsuccessful at first, but believe me, by the end it'll be in your top three favourites.

'Goodbye to love.....Well it's alright, i'll push you up, right agaisnt the wall.........' it's not happy, but it makes unhappiness beautiful. the whole album does that, acually.

'millstone': this isn't so hard to get into, but i wouldn't say it's as rewarding as 'degausser'. it's good, it's really good, and if it was by any other band i'd say it was amazing. but because it's brand new, it's not the best track here. it's about being choked by your past, by everything you've become, the lyrics are universally applicable and far more specific than any other song.

'I used to know the name of every person i kissed, now i've made this bed and i can't fall asleep in it'

'you won't know': i didn't like it the first few times i played it. i liked a chorusy bit at the end that burst into an angry 'You're talking smack, you're a heart attack, but you're the apple of my eye anyway', and the rest of it has totally grown on me. it starts off quiet as hell, but bursts into angry tones that just won't quit. the lyrics are really good, but like every other song, they're not ABOUT anything specific. they're about anything and everything, applicable to a lot of dark situations, though this one has a lot of references to death. again, i can't explain to you how good it is, you'll have to go and listen.

'so pray, little kay, love is just god on a good day. and you can't blame your mother, she's trying not to see you as her worst mistake. and i wish that i could tell you, right now, i love you, but it looks like i won't be around, so you won't know'

'jesus christ': the fans' favourite, easy to get into, the most ballad-like, and though it's dark, there's hope here, too. 'Jesus Christ, that's a pretty face....' the lyrics are sad little feelings that everybody feels, though when they're on paper they just sound angsty. it's an honest, beautiful, simple song. if you want to get a taste for this album without experiencing the whole thing, listen to this and 'sowing season'. it's very good, but it's not the pure brilliance you can find elsewhere on this album.

'Not the sun': its the only song on the album that projects the same sort of emotions as another, 'you won't know', though they sound different. it's heartfelt, frustrated, and works perfectly with all the other tracks. i don't think it's anyone's favourite, but i wouldn't say it's not good. 'Say you're my friend, but why won't you be my family??'

'limousine': epic, seven-minute brilliance, a little like 'degausser' in that way. also very hard to get into. sounds pathetic at first, drab, feeble, but once you listen to it, you realize it just seeps with pain. its about a real-life seven-year-old child who was killed coming back from a wedding by a drunk-driver, though you wouldn't know it unless you looked it up. i sing this in the shower, the lyrics mean so much to me. it's not immediately beautiful by any means, and repetitive (though it gets deeper, darker and more painful every time the two main lines are repeated) but once you realize how amazing it is, you'll never let it go.

'You're so free....Yeah, you were right about me. Can i get myself out from underneath, this guilt that will crush me, and in the choir, i saw a sad messiah, he was bored and tired of my laments, said 'I died for you one time but never again' '

'luca': the song i like least on this album, though i still play it, like it and sing it all the time. for me, it just has less lyrical meaning that the other songs on this beautiful album. again, it's not easy or particularly hard to get into, not rewarding or unrewarding, but it's not bland. it deserves to be on this album, just not to get top marks. 'So touch me or don't........just let me know, where you've been'

'archers': i would say it's most like anything on 'deja entendu'. it doesn't seep brilliance like 'degausser' and 'limousine', but it's punchy, emotional and easy to love. it's fairly lyrically powerful and it's not as dark as everything else on here, and originally i really liked it. it got old pretty quick, though....it's nice, it's very good, but there's no staying power for the song (maybe the lyrics, though).

'handcuffs': i like it, i don't love it. it's claustrophobic, dark and quietly painful, easy to get into. some people say it's their favourite, and lyrically amazing. the instrumental part behind the singing is better than the singing itself, particularly the violin, and the lyrics have meaning, but you don't feel the pain like on most of the songs on this album.

'welcome to bangkok' and 'untitled' - both basically instrumental, both good, but i'm not too big on instrumental stuff, and i won't fully review them. i do like 'welcome to bangkok' more than 'untitled', though, and it sounds like a lot of the songs without the words.

i liked this album so much that i downloaded all the demos that were accidentally released in january, before the album was officially released. the demoes are badly produced and some of them sound a lot like their better counterparts on 'devil and god', but some of them are just about as good as this album: 'demo #5', 'demo #4' and (less good but worth a listen if you like 'devil and god') 'demo #7.'

in conclusion: buy this album. if you have a deep appreciation for music other than bubblegum pop and can see past the emo tag (which this album is definately not), if you're going through a hard time or just want to see the beauty in breakdown, or hell, just want to hear some very good music, get this album.
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on 28 July 2009
Brand New are a band that I would describe as genius. Jesse Lacey (the lead singer) write some of the most intelligent and interesting lyrics I have ever heard. He manages to write the same old emotional songs in a way never heard before. He is expertly backed by fantastic bass hooks and beautiful, faultless guitar playing. This band are the complete package. They have everything.

This album confirms that they are not just young kids trying to play something edgy. They started out as a pop-punk band producing a very fine piece of music in Your Favourite Weapon. Then came their breakthrough album, a work of genius too Deja Entendu. That album showed the phenomenal style this band had.

This album The Devil and God ... continues their progression as a band. I know people often say that a band maturing is a bad thing. In this case it most definitely is not. Brand New have come of age in this album. The songwriting it flawless. Simply listen to Jesus Christ and you will know what I mean. The intro to that song is deceptively simple, much like what the Red Hot Chili Peppers do. Jesse is on fine form throughout the whole of the album, his vocals at his best ever (aside from The No Seatbelt Song on their first album).

The guitar is explosive in songs like Sowing Season and the lyrics just epic. The only downside in this album in my opinion is that it kind of starts to tail off during the end. The first half is so fantastic but some of the later songs seem to go off on a tangent. But when Brand New go off a tangent it is still great music to listen to.

Who do they sound like? Well that is a very hard question as to me no one quite sounds like Brand New. They are an emo-ish band and the vocals kind of emo but in this new album they have moved away from emo into some kind of progressive rock sound. But not as heavy as that. Honestly not sure which band names to throw out there - maybe new Thrice stuff, Monty Are I, Moneen. None of these really come close though.

Brand New are truly unique, as this album shows.
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on 22 November 2006
Brand New have been quiet over the past 3 years since the release of their standout album "Deja Entendu". They recently stepped up the pace with a US summer tour, a show in our beloved UK, and currently on tour with Dashboard Confessional in the USA. They have definitely stepped up the pace and now with the release of the long await 3rd album, the Brand New wagon is definitely in motion.

There was a lot of rumor surrounding this anticipated 3rd album, since "Deja Entendu", Brand New have changed label and this is their first (And hopefully not their last) release on "Interscope".

Fans that have seen the band over the summer will be familiar with several tracks such as "Degausser" and "Sowing Season" as these have been on the live bill prior to the release of the album, but with the studio quality and the almost haunting addition of a Childs choir in the chorus on "Degausser" it really shows that the band are willing to push the boundaries of music.

Finally on 20th November 2006 "The Devil and God are raging inside me" hit the UK the shelves. And I think every fan is in agreeance when I say that the 3 year wait was DEFINITELY worth it. They have continued to push the threshold of their music, with Jesse really exploring his voice on the new album, Hitting those higher notes and musically it's amazing especially on tracks such as "Degausser". Lyrically the album is what we have come to expect from Brand New, deep, meaningful, inspiring lyrics that conjure up amazing images as you are guided through the album, Brand New are truly one of the greats of our era at creating modern inspirational music.

The stand out track on this album for me is "Jesus Christ", it's lyrically amazing, and it shows the strong influence of religion in Jesse's life, But at the same time it does not alienate those from a non-religious background. The beauty of the band shine through in the song, with lyrics that will play on the mind and really make you sit back and think about the way things are. Art may have the "Mona Lisa" but music has "Brand New".

This album is a MUST buy for anyone who is a lover of alternative music. With it's easy listening vibe it can be enjoyed by all and loved by everyone.
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on 23 November 2006
After Long Island's Brand New released 2003's Deja Entendu, to critical and public acclaim, they promptly dropped off the map for 3 years, to resurface now, at the end of 2006, with "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me". While religious themes do appear on the record, the title actually comes from a conversation lead singer Jesse Lacey had with a schizophrenic friend.

"The Devil and God..." is far more like Deja Entendu that Brand New's first LP "Your Favorite Weapon". It is predominantly slow in pace for a band with punk origins and far darker than any of the bands previous releases. First single "Sowing Season (Yeah)", is about finding a way out of alcohol abuse. It's a surprisingly effective intro, that builds from twinkly accoustic sections before crashing into explosive riffs that periodically rise and fall.

Meanwhile, religion seeps in to the album on the first standout track, "Jesus Christ" which is a slow burn melodic track with a muted beat about fears of the afterlife ("well Jesus Christ I'm alone again/what did you do the three days you were dead?/because this problems going to last/more than the weekend").

Most of the songs here are fairly long, Limousine topping out at just under eight minutes. It's another great song though, and one that is reminiscient both sonically and vocally of Radiohead's famous song Paranoid Android. "You Won't Know" is another example of Jesse Lacey's penchant for adroit lyrics ("so they say in heaven theres no husbands or wives/on the day that I go up they'll be completely out of their forgiveness supplies").

After six amazing songs, the album does lose focus somewhat. Theres two perfectly serviceable, but uninspiring instrumentals, "Welcome to Bangkok" and an untitled track. Theres an up-tempo track "Not The Sun" which is a good song that simply suffers in comparisson with the earlier tracks. Low point is definitely Luca, which is a fairly indifferent track which doesn't really have the trademark inventiveness of most Brand New songs. Unfortunately a reprise of the same song is the UK bonus track.

The album goes out swinging though. Penultimate track "Archers" has political undertones about the Bush regime but isn't a two-dimensional bashing of it. It also boasts a fantastic chorus. Ender "Handcuffs" was actually written by Brand New's guitarist Vincent Acardi. Like most Brand New album finishers, it's mostly accoustic although does have some fantastic string instruments kick in at the end. It is essentially from the perspective of a man describing what he would do if he wasn't burdened by conscience ("I'd drown all these crying babies/if I knew that their mothers wouldn't cry/I'd hold them down and squeeze real soft/and let a piece of myself die").

Overall, "The Devil and God..." is a damn fine album, and definitely worth the three year wait. It's as different from "Deja Entendu" as "Deja..." was from "Your Favorite Weapon" and so I'm not going to make comparissons as to which might or might not be better. Simply put, go and get it.
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on 23 November 2006
If this album was put out by an up-and-coming band, it would be hailed a masterpiece. The fact that it is by Brand New is causing far too many people to knock it before they've tried it. Don't compare this release to Deja Entendu; this isn't Deja Entendu #2 and it is all the better for it. The similarities are there if you listen carefully - Brand New haven't ditched their sound - but the differences are marked and positive.

From the opening 'Sowing Season (Yeah)' to the closing 'Handcuffs', The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me packs more punches than Rocky on speed. My own highlights include the aforementioned opener, which rips apart any preoconceptions about this album, and 'Degausser' - the backing choir and Jesse Lacey's exceptional lyrics create a party for your ears. However, if you liked Brand New's acoustic sound you might be a little disappointed, as half of the acoustic-based numbers on this album - most notably, 'Limousine' and 'Welcome To Bangkok' - turn into roaring rock anthems.

If you liked their previous albums, you'll love this - but only if you can accept that Brand New have grown up, shed their 'emo' tag and come out the other side as a band that have consistently shown they can reinvent themselves.
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on 10 February 2007
Brand New are progressing yet again with this release, and in terms of production, songwriting and technique the album is a huge step forward from "Deja Entendu". Maintaining the "post-hardcore" feel while losing a little more of the punk, the album is probably both the heaviest and softest release to date, with crunching rock-choruses and gentle acoustic melodies often combined into one song. Despite reviewers' comments that the album is "slow," "The Devil and God..." is actually incredibly fast-paced for a Brand New album, arguably more so than any of their other releases. The fact that this album also contains slower songs could fool the casual listener, but fear not - whatever your preference, this album will have something for you.

Thoughtful, emotional and overwhelmingly powerful, this album has already made my week and there is not a weak song on it: every word and every note has its purpose, and don't be fooled by the punk/emo label - just treat this as raw music and listen to it.
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