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Metal band Bible of the Devil plays Blue Moose tonight

BY REBECCA KOONS | MARCH 12, 2010 7:30 AM

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Bible of the Devil has a new outlook on its music, succinctly defined in one phrase: “freedom metal.”

The band performs in the spirit of its hard rock/metal predecessors, emphasizing the concept of personal freedom, what vocalist/guitarist Mark Hoffmann called a musical “declaration of independence.” The creation of Bible of the Devil’s self-defined genre was also the product of wanting to pinpoint exactly what the band was, and what it wanted to accomplish.

The Chicago-based quartet will perform, with musical guests Snow Demon and Bloodcow, at the Blue Moose Tap House, 211 Iowa Ave., at 9 p.m. today.

Hoffmann, along with bandmates Nathan Perry (guitars, vocals), Greg Spalding (drums), and Darren Amaya (bass) have always maintained a goal of capturing the attention of fans and intrigued onlookers alike. The band’s name itself, a euphemism for rock ’n’ roll, was chosen when its members were younger and “more willing to invite controversy.”

“Mainly, we liked the sinister implications of the name,” Hoffmann said.

Inspiration for the band’s sound comes from several corners of the rock world, its primary influences being Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, and Judas Priest, as well as garage and punk rock. If there is anything Bible of the Devil emulates of these bands, it is the brazen, no-holds-barred attitude of its music, persona, and energetic performances.

With this kind of approach, Hoffmann said, it is beneficial for newcomers to first encounter the band in a live setting. The inhibition that Bible of the Devil expresses in its music comes out even more in concert, giving credence to the band’s “freedom metal” nature.

“Experience the songs as a full-frontal assault, then take the albums with you in your automobile and drive really fast,” Hoffmann said.

Edward Spinelli of Willowbrook, Ill., was first exposed to Bible of the Devil as the opening act of other metal bands around the Chicago area. He was immediately drawn to the group’s raw, original sound, which he called different and refreshing.

“[Bible of the Devil is] real tight band with tons of talent,” he said. “If this were the mid-80s, the band would play huge places.”

In order for the band to bring the heat in its live gigs, tremendous work must be done in the studio beforehand. The combination of melodic leads, heavy riffs, and a thunderous backbeat is a crucial element of what Bible of the Devil is, and the creation of such material is an increasingly democratic process. Most often, in addition to creating vocal melodies and harmonies, Hoffmann and Perry will work to take a riff idea and morph it into a song. Spalding and Amaya then “glue it together” in the rhythm department.

“It’s always challenging to come up with material that pays respects to our influences without being too derivative and capture it on a recording in the best way possible,” Hoffmann said. “The reward is knowing that you are leaving behind a recorded legacy.”

Because Bible of the Devil puts great effort behind its finished product, it’s only natural that the band hopes its music sticks with listeners and concertgoers. Performing for an audience that “gets it,” and performing with like-minded bands are the things that keeps the band on a motivated, upward motion.

“I anticipate that people will take away the feeling that they have witnessed something massive and crucial,” Hoffmann said. “It’s a hell of a pastime. I don’t plan on giving it up any time soon.”


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