Devil You Know

The Beauty of Destruction

Written by: MBC on 31/05/2014 23:58:07

When Howard Jones left Killswitch Engage (KsE) two years ago, the future for both parties was uncertain for a while. KsE eventually reunited with original front man Jesse Leach and released the very good album “Disarm the Descent”. Jones laid low for a while until joining the brand new project entitled Devil You Know established by guitarist Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish) and drummer John Sankey (Divine Heresy). Joined by guitarist Roy Lev-Ari (Hiss of Atrocities) and bass player Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through), this has become the line-up of a modern metal super group who released their debut album “The Beauty of Destruction” last month on Nuclear Blast.

So what kind of album are we dealing with from this new constellation of skilled musicians? The short answer is: A pretty good one. However, the people who expected Howard Jones to return to brutality ala his earlier work in Blood Has Been Shed might be disappointed with this album. Although it does contain aggressive parts, the majority of the album is melodic metal and can be placed within the NWAHM genre with traces of the members’ previous efforts clearly present. The level of musicianship is high. Artusato and Lev-Ari deliver heavy, fast and melodic riffs and face-melting solos. Sankey is a beast behind the kit and proves that he can blast and play subtly all the same.

A huge part of the appeal of this new band naturally is Howard Jones. He is still an amazing vocalist with a very big range and a pleasant, soulful tone to boot. People might remember KsE recording a cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver” which was very well done. On this track, Jones proved that singing heavy metal is another one of his many talents. His vibrato and the theatrical quality to his voice is clearly distinguishable and it seems that he can adapt it to any style of music. The last album he recorded with KsE was the most melodic in the band’s career thus far. With Devil You Know Jones has continued down this path with a few songs consisting mostly of clean vocals. Fortunately, he has not strayed completely from his ability to scream and shout his lungs out and his performance on the album is varied and impressive overall. Check out for instance the demonic howl that opens “Shut It Down” or his dark, melancholic approach on album closer “As Bright As the Darkness”.

Unfortunately, this album is not all it could have been and the musicians are following familiar paths rather than taking chances with exciting, innovative ideas. The songs for the most part are good but not great, with formulaic constructions of screamed verses and cleanly sung choruses that are not very memorable and at times the album just comes off a bit boring. However, “The Beauty of Destruction” is a decent first effort from a band that certainly has got all the tools to become a great entity in modern metal.

7

Download: A New Beginning, Seven Years Alone, Shut It Down, As Bright As The Darkness
For the fans of: Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, Shadows Fall
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.04.2014
Nuclear Blast

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