Ferrous Oxide: Devil’s Plaything

Ferrous Oxide is the girl you take home to mom on the first date and marry the same night.  Never before has there been such an unknown act with so much promise and skill in metal.  Sometimes we call things a real crying shame, but this is more than that, it’s Victorian post-mortem black dress for a wedding period of mourning lasting several years because of the lack of press this guy seems to get.  Perhaps it’s due to his indifferent approach to self-promotion, and having talked to the guy once, he seems to just like to do what he does and if it goes somewhere, so be it, otherwise, whatever, he still does it.  Dude’s so obscure he’s not even on Metallum, for crying out loud, and any band with any semblance of “metal” with a single song on Bandcamp is thrown on there just because they exist.  But in terms of press, good luck finding anything.  Seriously, a quick search with variations on wording revealed not a single fakkin review of this album.  What in the living Hell is going on out there?  This can’t be the only copy he sent out…  As we love to say around Deaf Sparrow, we review whatever we get, and we don’t care if the insert was printed out on an Epson missing ink with the title written on the disc in pen.  Ferrous Oxide always seems to look cheap, based on this and a short EP he sent our way about two years ago.  We were waiting, patiently, seethingingly perhaps, for a full-length, and here it is, the awesome Devil’s Plaything.  As he says on his Facebook page, “bedroom band power + fury.”   But he doesn’t give us the “=”, which we’ll here tell you is “the greatest thing ever made.”




Ferrous Oxide, well, how to describe him.  He makes Satan cool, he makes the Devil sound like he belongs in metal again.  What do we mean?  Just listen to the crap puked out by bands like Ghost BC (yes, they deserve that title) and you get the idea: Satan used as trite theatrics for those out there who are still closet Catholics and afraid of “the evil.”  Ferrous laughs at you, he pisses all over you, and he writes music without devilish pretension, it just is what it is, Satan, and for once it doesn’t sound pathetic to say it, you don’t feel so superfluous.  Devil’s Plaything is a veritable How-To manual for anyone who wants to learn a few key things.  One, proper riff writing.  Two, proper rawness with production so it’s not completely inaccessible.  Three, proper vocal delivery that carries over a variety of styles.  Four, drum machine programming that sounds organic (honestly still not sure if it’s a machine or not).  We could go on, but just listen to it above, you’ll understand.  A sampling of any one song at almost any point is enough to prove it.  Take a look at “Ghost Wind,” for example, or “Missive” around the 1:45 mark.  Wow, yeah, grind that stuff dude, grind it.  Ferrous covers a variety of styles including thrash, goes through blistering solos, sometimes sings like Axel without the asshole quality you’d expect; this guy can cover about everything good in metal in a single go, and you’ll never forget it.


That being said, though Devil’s Plaything rips over the fretboard and casts blood all over your eyes, Ferrous Oxide could do himself some good if he worked a little on the image and self-promotion.  Rawness, awesome, we dig it, sure, but really, with the amount of skill and talent this guy has, you’d expect him to care a little more.  There’s nothing wrong with someone sitting in their room and putting this stuff together, but when it gets this good it’s basically a sham it isn’t pushed harder.  Perhaps we’re wrong for making an issue out of that, but when you look at a cover and have absolutely no idea what in the Hell you’re looking at, what it has to do with the Devil, or why it was so hastily put together when the sound of it is beyond all expectations, you kind of wonder if the guy just doesn’t care.  The chording is so powerful, so well-thought, so beautiful, so metal, that it absolutely requires a good presentation.  That, friends, is the only thing wrong with this album.  It doesn’t look as it should, and bands often underestimate the importance of image, or especially art in how an album is perceived.  Devil’s Plaything is something every true underground metal fan craves, that random cassette or CD-R you toss to the side and put in randomly one day, for lack of anything better to do, and then you wonder where it’s been your whole life.  Just plain awesome metal here, no embarrassment in raising the horns, calling out 666, this is Hell incarnate, but for the love of God work hard for yourself!  This is something that would easily be carried by a big label.


Ferrous Oxide Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Ferrous Oxide: Devil’s Plaything
4.5 / 5