July 11, 2021

A trip back in time now to the mid-’80s for the Tasmanian rock band Devils In Heaven. As with so many others, the band originally began life as a covers band but when they left Launceston in 1989 to move to Northern Queensland they began mixing in original songs amongst the covers and learned their trade in the harsh environment of Australia’s bars and clubs. Another move to Sydney saw them picking up attention and they went on to win Star Search, A TV talent contest in 1991. It should have been the catalyst for further development but it just didn’t happen for the band and when the Liberation EP bombed in 1993 then that was just about it for Devils in Heaven and they became another of many footnotes in rocks history. Of course, it didn’t help that they were a slick AOR band and grunge was just being unleashed in to the world, a classic case of wrong place and wrong time.

The band left behind an albums worth of material but no actual debut and it seems that the EP has achieved something approaching cult status which has resurrected interest in the band. To take advantage of this they have put out this collection of songs that do work very well together and all have the slick and sophisticated sound of ’80s and ’90s melodic rock. These are not rough demos but genuine songs that never really had the chance to be heard by the public and many will be surprised by just how cultured and smooth they sounded.

The band was built around David Whitney on vocals and guitar, Matt Shield on bass, Nelson Tabe on Keyboards with Phil Crothers on drums with the material here being recorded by the band in the early ’90s but there are also several tracks recorded by David Witney at the end of the decade. The album will probably now be only a curiosity and a hint at what could have been with their Mr. Mister/Toto style musings but poor management and bad timing ended it all.

Give the album a listen as there is plenty of fine melodic rock on here with thoroughly enjoyable performances and very glossy songs with plenty of delightful vocal harmonies to enjoy and admire.

Rise track list

  1. Liberation (4:50)
  2. The Night Is Over (3:04)
  3. Take Me (4:17)
  4. Ain’t It A Wonder (4:26)
  5. Ships In The Night (4:17)
  6. Say A Prayer (3:40)
  7. Age (Simple Man) (2:26)
  8. All Night (4:04)
  9. Listen To My Heart (4:34)
  10. Dreams (4:50)
  11. Your Beating Heart (3:47)
  12. Mind & Soul (4:23)
  13. Ships in The Night (1990 version, bonus track) (3:57)
  14. Ain’t It A Wonder (1990 version, bonus track) (4:23)