DEVILS IN HEAVEN – Rise [’80s / ’90s unreleased recordings digitally remastered] (2021)
DEVILS IN HEAVEN are an Australian Melodic Rock group that had its heydays during the late 80’s and early 90’s, when they mainly toured Australia’s East Coast, bringing the band a loyal fan following. The band put out a few singles back in the day and made themselves well-known in the live-circuit but didn’t make it to a full album.
Now 2021 AOR Heaven Records are releasing “Rise”, containing DEVILS IN HEAVEN many AOR and melodic treasures from different recording sessions, fully digitally remastered. As bonus you get two tracks “Ships In The Night“ and “Ain’t A Wonder“ from 1990.
Given the sheer quality of the song material, it’s a shame DEVILS IN HEAVEN didn’t get a record deal back in the ’80s. Frontman David Withney lost his singing voice some time ago and drummer Phil Crothers passed away many moons ago.
Therefore, “Rise“ is the ultimate legacy of this band. And a really good, melodic Rock / AOR legacy from the golden era.
Devils in Heaven started out as a school covers band in Launceston, Tasmania during the mid-1980’s. After a couple of years of gigging around Tasmania, the boys left their comfy confines in March 1989 and joined the thriving Northern Queensland circuit of touring bands. It was a baptism by fire, but the boys learned to adapt to different type of audiences and built up their stamina and resilience through the constant playing.
It was on this circuit that they were discovered by a band manager, who introduced them to the flourishing Sydney music scene. Here in Sydney is where the industry heavyweights became aware of the band, who by now were playing their own original music for about half of their shows. The band began recording demo recordings, but their demos didn’t seem to land on the right music executives’ desks.
In 1991, the band accepted an offer to appear on the nationally televised talent show, Star Search. The band went on to appear a total of eight times, eventually winning the band section of the Grand Final. But the band didn’t strike while the iron was hot. Instead, their debut single, Say a Prayer, was released six months later. By then, the hype surrounding their Star Search win had somewhat subsided.
At this time in April 1992, the music landscape was starting to change with the likes of Nirvana and the grunge scene taking over the airwaves. After the lack of support for their debut single, the Devils decided on having a last-ditch effort into cracking the big time by recording an E.P. entitled “Liberation” in Hollywood, Los Angeles during March of 1993.
Unfortunately, Liberation didn’t even make an indentation on the charts, and the boys decided to part ways in October 1993 as the musical landscape was changing in Australia and it was becoming increasingly difficult to make a living as a live/ touring band. Now that almost thirty years have passed, their music helps keep the band living on.
01 – Liberation
02 – The Night Is Over
03 – Take Me
04 – Ain’t It a Wonder
05 – Ships in the Night
06 – Say a Prayer
07 – Age (Simple Man)
08 – All Night
09 – Listen to My Heart
10 – Dreams
11 – Your Beating Heart
12 – Heart, Mind & Soul
13 – Ships in the Night (1990 Version, Bonus Track)
14 – Ain’t It a Wonder (1990 Version, Bonus Track)
Dave Whitney (Vocals/ Guitar)
Matt Shield (Bass)
Nelson Tabe (Keyboards)
Phil Crothers (Drums)