Three years after releasing their self-titled national debut, Virginia’s Saint Diablo have returned with their sophomore metal masterpiece entitled ‘Devil Horns and Halos’. The album was produced by Tim “Rumblefish” Gilles (Anthrax, Taking Back Sunday, ill Nino) at Big Blue Meenie studios in Jersey City, NJ. The new album features ten ferocious tracks of raging heavy metal, which capture the band’s abilities as songwriters and performers like they’ve never been showcased before.
A lot can happen in three years time however. “Our label Eclipse Records elected the option to deliver a second album, so we got the opportunity to work with Tim Gilles of Big Blue Meenie recording studios. After spending a couple months in pre-production with his team, we began tracking the new material with Tim in September of 2013” states guitarist Justin Adams. “We were on cloud nine, working with a well-known producer in a world-class recording studio. Tim’s approach to capturing our sound was so inspirational. This was what we dreamed of all our lives, and then life threw us some pretty significant detours… I got divorced, and shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with cancer.”
“He was faced with some difficult decisions, and the lyrics for ‘Survive This’ were written about him” states vocalist Tito Quinones. “I was impressed with how he balanced the pain, faced his mortality, and was still able to write and perform some of the most powerful music that’s ever come out of him. Right around the same time, our previous bass player had to leave the band and our tour manager Tyler Huffman replaced him.” Tito continues, “My wife and I had to move twice in 2014 due to her job, then my mother who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s passed away. We were very close and her death hit me real hard. I dropped everything, went back to Puerto Rico, and just spent some time with family.”
The title track ‘Devil Horns and Halos’ however, hits particularly close to home for the band. “The honest folks wear their devil horns, so you know what you’re getting… they are out for themselves” states Tito, “but the halo-wearers are the masked ones you’re unsure of. They’re supposed to be the good guys, but often they end up showing their true colors. The frustration and confusion of this dynamic is what Devil Horns and Halos is all about.”
In countless ways however, the band saw beauty come out of tragedy in the time between the last album and this one. Drummer Brian Bush welcomed the birth of his son, the band eventually completed the new album, and Justin Adams is now finally cancer free.
“At the end of the day, I believe it’s safe to say that we’ve all finally arrived to a common place, and that place is a re-invigorated and re-imagined SAINT DIABLO that is ready to release the very best album and live performances of our careers. We are fortunate to be able to create from the things that life gives us” states Tito Quinones. “Being able to share these things with the world is what it’s all about”.