Music Spotlight: ruin by The Amazing Devil


Annika Dauer

The Amazing Devil (Joey Batey and Madeleine Hyland)’s latest album, ruin (released on October 31, 2021) is some of their best work yet. From the tear-jerkers to hype songs, they have met and arguably surpassed the success of their last album, The Horror and the Wild.

The opening song of the album, Secret Worlds is the perfect way to kick off the new lineup. It is one of my favorites for sure. It’s very playful; capturing that invincible feeling teenagers so often have. It’s got a bit of a different feel from much of their other work; Less intense and more childlike reminiscent of Battle Cries and the beginning of Not Yet / Love Run.

The Calling is the next one on the list. It does a full 180º flip from Secret Worlds, bringing the signature power fans recognize. It tells a very different story, too: a more desperate, dangerous one of someone with more to lose and gain. It’s a power ballad if there ever was one.

Drinking Song for the Socially Anxious is a fan favorite for a reason. It’s funny in its honesty, and endearing with its relatability. The track itself is sparse, just one guitar and the two vocalists. In my opinion, that makes it all the more compelling. It’s the sort of song that is very easy to replicate and sing around a campfire.

The next one on the list is Blossoms. Blossoms is defiant in both lyrics and tune, similar to the song The Horror and the Wild. It feels like righteous anger and rebellion. The cello is a very nice touch, and I very much enjoy how fast it goes from 0 to 100. This is the sort of song you could raise an army to.

Chords has become very dear to me. It’s reminiscent of Welly Boots, my favorite song from The Horror and the Wild album. The harmonies are simply spectacular, and the conversation style lyrics are absolutely brilliant in their simplicity. The discourse between the two vocalists as parents bidding their child goodbye as they go off into the world is truly profound.

Another fan favorite, The Old Witch Sleep and the Good Man Grace leans into the edgier side of this genre. It’s very long in comparison to the others (almost nine minutes). It starts off soft, with a melancholic comforting feel, but it doesn’t remain that way for long. Instead, it morphs into the feral desperation of someone who has hit rock bottom and knows they have nothing left to lose. It’s almost a love letter to those who have had enough of being put down, those who have gone through times of hardship and abuse and come out with fists swinging. With a sharp drum beat and a minor key, it feels like fire and fury, and it feels good.

Ruin is the namesake of the album, and the second of two ballads. The lyrics speak of lovers separated by differences and brought together to patch up what they lost. The soft notes of a piano pair well with the should haves and the quiet determination to regain what was lost. It’s very nostalgic in both lyrics and melody, and it’s a truly beautiful piece of music.

Inkpot Gods is the final song on the album, and I would argue the most popular. It has a grandeur much like Blossoms, but a tune closer to Not Yet / Love Run. If I had to describe it in two words, I’d say “The Climax”. The lyrics speak to those moments in fiction where the hero sacrifices themself for the good of their allies. It’s standing on the edge of a cliff to hold off the enemy and having the courage to take a leap of faith. It’s powerful, no doubt about it, but more of a quiet sort of power.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this album. There was a delightful mix of genres, all with the Amazing Devil’s trademark potent lyrics. No word yet on the next one, but if I had to guess, it’s going to be a while yet; especially since the Witcher season 3 started filming, and rumor has it that Joey Batey’s Jaskier is going to have a larger role in this season. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.