"Dealing With Demons" (Napalm Records; 2020)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I first heard about DevilDriver from Jeff Rogers on way back when. They kicked metal ass back in the day and I was very interested on what this band was up to these days.

Eleven years after our last review (for 2009's "Pray for Villains") and this band just keeps getting fucking better. The new release, "Dealing With Demons," is in-your-face, ripping metal that proves once again why this band has been successful for so many years.

What DevilDriver does on "Dealing with Demons" is nothing short of brilliant when it comes to delivering an outstanding metal release. If you're looking for a good, fresh, aggressive, interesting and relevant metal release, DevilDriver's "Dealing with Demons" is probably exactly what you're looking for. Amazing songwriting, outstanding musicianship, thundering riffs and a shitload of charisma is what this band and their music is all about. Explosive metal music that flows and plays like a science fiction novel. Deeply intense with a bit of darkness to make it that all more fun.

Sadly, I've never had the opportunity to see this band live but, based on the music I found on "Dealing with Demons," their live show must be incredible!

Four guitarsaws! Just what the fucking doctor ordered.

DevilDriver: Def Fafara, Mike Spreitzer, Neal Tiemann, Austin D’Amond and Diego Ibarra.

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"Pray for Villains" (Roadrunner; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This band is tough! Groove metal and melodic death metal mixed together makes for a vicious growling beast with a guitar right up in your grill. This is their fourth studio release and they keep getting heavier with each offering. They are fronted by Dez Fafara; he used to be the lead growler for Coal Chamber.

The name Devildriver is of Italian origin, of which Dez Fafara proudly displays his knowledge. The bells that Italian witches use to drive away evil forces are called devildrivers. Since Dez didn't like the direction that Coal Chamber was heading musically, he gathered up the ilk that would advance his vision, and galloping his quest across the landscape of music is just what they do.

The guitar is brutal and when a solo comes ripping in it's going to leave a mark. There are a lot of time changes and the songs pound courtesy of John Boecklin; he beats those drums like a red-headed step child. There are two versions of this disc; the special edition has four extra songs, one of which is a cover of Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years."

Devildriver: Dez Fafara – Vocals; Mike Spreitzer – Guitar; Jeff Kendrick – Guitar; Jon Miller – Bass; John Boecklin – Drums.

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"The Last Kind Words" (Roadrunner; 2007)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

DevilDriver wanted to offer their fans a different style of music so they opted for melodic death metal on this offering. I would applaud them but it's hard to clap with both hands positioned above my head while sporting the devil horns. \m/ \m/

This is one heavy release. The music goes 500 miles an hour and the vocals are death metal all the way. The drums gallop along and even Lance Armstrong would have trouble keeping up with John Boecklin when he's running a drum line. The guitar solos are fast and furious and even when the gitfiddle is not ripping up a solo it's still being sawed on like it needs to be punished.

Brutality starts each song and mayhem keeps it going until exhaustion sets in but don't think rest will come to you, o' weary listener. Its forty-five minutes of nasty guitar and more screams than a marathon of horror flicks.

Dez Fafara used to front Coal Chamber and if you listen to them and DevilDriver you might not think the same groove metal madman was the figurehead for both bands. I think a lot of us picture musicians as stand alone people but Dez includes his son Simon on the track, "Tirades of Truth." Don't think you're going to hear some little kid's voice: Simon can growl like a beast and he was only nine years old when this was recorded. It's also where you hear the line that gives us the title of the CD.

DevilDriver: Dez Fafara – Vocals; Mike Spreitzer – Guitar; Jeff Kendrick – Guitar; Jon Miller – Bass; John Boecklin – Drums; Simon Fafara – Additional Vocals in "Tirades of Truth."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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