The Night Guild is a new side project of singer/songwriter Pete Devlin and experimental composer James Joys of avant-pop band Ex-Isles. Established to make more collaborative and cross-disciplinary work, their album Devil, Repent! is the first Night Guild instalment, and features conspiratorial alliances with artist Alana Barton, experimental percussionist Steve Davis, and renowned vocal group Landless, among many others.
Devil, Repent! takes as its starting point ingrained cultures of abuse and neglect within powerful and ostensibly unimpeachable institutions. With musical nods to devotional incantation and hymnal vocal harmonies, as well as an expansive and ambitious sound palette featuring brass fanfares, organs, and bells, Devil, Repent! seethes with brutality and yearns for euphoria. Their album quarries the dissolution, surrender, and disavowal of our own voices to authority in unquestioning deference to immutable truths. That we have allowed sex, guilt, and debt to be weaponised against us is a telling aspect of these institutions’ power. Devil, Repent!’s music uses sensual, heavy, club inspired grooves and rhythms, and passages of free improvisation as a way of resisting the self-righteous, celibate strictures of institutional religious doctrines that have mutated and controlled our culture and our politics.
"We find thus by experience that there is no good applying to heaven for earthly comfort. Heaven can give heavenly comfort; no other kind. And earth cannot give earthly comfort either. There is no earthly comfort in the long run."
"Love can be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a church or (alas) a party in a church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself. Here it will be enough to say that the heavenly society is also an earthly society. Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions. If ever the book which I am not going to write is written it must be the full confession by christendom of christendom's specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of 'the world' will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of christ and enacted the service of moloch."
'Devil, Repent!' is the machination of James Thompson and Peter Devlin. Begotten from the contemplations of Phil Begg, the
project began as our reaction to the monstrosities of abuse laid upon people by religious orders, but spread to encapsulate the (seemingly ubiquitous and unaccountable) institutional abuse of power and wealth in all it's horrid forms.