Friday, June 21, 2024

Devildriver continue Dealing with Demons

A double album divided across several years is a highly ambitious project that some bands genuinely can’t deliver. California groove metal outfit Devildriver however have created a fully cohesive package that was divided by Covid and lineup changes but still works individually and as a full double album experience. 

Devildriver’s trademark groove metal riffing is still here but it’s more streamlined and blunt in a way that sometimes sonically invokes Fear Factory, it favours creating an aggressive and seething atmosphere built upon simple yet effective riffing without getting bogged down in technicality like so many of their peers do. There’s still some blistering guitar work from Mike Spreitzer and the drumming from newcomer Davier Perez is fantastic. 

Over the past few years, Devildriver have started to add this country aesthetic to their sound, it’s not especially overt outside of the Outlaws to the End cover album but you can feel it bleeding through on tracks like ‘Summoning’ with its clean intro before slamming back into tremolo picked riffing and furious double bass drumming, the chorus even sounds like a Spaghetti Western theme.

The whole purpose of experimentation is to build on what works and Devildriver have been doing that successfully for years, perhaps it’s not as overt as some other bands but subtle changes have turned this band into a well-oiled machine. 

Dez Fafara is a highly recognisable voice and this latest performance is fantastic as usual, his trademark growl still sounds utterly ferocious. He even manages to inject some melody and catchy choruses on ‘It’s a Hard Truth’ which is a very difficult task while screaming at the top of your lungs. ‘Dealing with Demons’ seems like a therapy of sorts for Dez as he has been dealing with a lot over the past few years, the hostile tone of Devildriver has always been cathartic but here it reaches new heights. The songwriting is fantastic and there’s a raw honesty that you can only find in anger. 

If Outlaws to the End was Devildriver’s country album then Dealing with Demons is their blues album, there’s a melancholy atmosphere that permeates through the album despite the ferocious tone. Blues music from its inception has been about dealing with demons, sometimes literally, and this new album shows a willingness to experiment and deliver an ugly truth that few genres can authentically deliver. 

Dealing with Demons Volume II is available May 12th via Napalm Records

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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A double album divided across several years is a highly ambitious project that some bands genuinely can't deliver. California groove metal outfit Devildriver however have created a fully cohesive package that was divided by Covid and lineup changes but still works individually and as...Devildriver continue Dealing with Demons