Sarah Jezebel Deva – The Corruption of Mercy (Listenable Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Rare when an artist owns up to one of their works being a dud. Most metal blowhards push the regular taglines of greatness, and frankly, it gets old after a while. Perhaps if everyone was a little more honest, then there would be an uptick in quality rather than the boggy morass of crappy albums we sometimes have to encounter. Yet units need to be sold, and tours need to be booked, so forget that idea.

The above rant is in reference to former Cradle of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva dismissing the quality of her debut solo effort, last year’s A Sign of Sublime. Yeah, it was a stinker, and it more than likely prompted Deva to totally re-evaluate the way she does her solo albums. So kudos to Deva for trying to right the ship on the much more tolerable The Corruption of Mercywhich is solid, with the exception of a needless cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” That song is so 1995.

Striking more of a symphonic and extreme chord than before, The Corruption of Mercy gets off to a bulldozing start on “No Paragon of Virtue.” Deva’s sultry vocal approach doesn’t quite paint the soft and delicate pictures her Y-chromosome contemporaries do, but when she’s given melodic material in which to work with, the results are redeemable, especially “A Matter of Convenience.”

Beyond that, it’s hard to determine if Deva can hoist an entire album on her back, as the rest of The Corruption of Mercy comes and goes, but is nowhere near the mess that A Sign of Sublime was. Methinks Deva can hold her own, as her voice possesses qualities that most female singers don’t have. It’s just matter of finding the right songs and backdrop. A little honesty goes a long way, doesn’t it?

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