Devil You Know

They Bleed Red

Written by: MAK on 03/11/2015 20:05:12

There seems to be an ongoing obsession in comparing Devil You Know with Killswitch Engage. Even on album number two there have been comments that “They Bleed Red” will be as good as Killswitch Engage's “The End Of Heartache”. Granted that both bands have shared the talents of vocalist Howard Jones, and musically both of the bands are quite similar in following the NWOAHM formula. It would be safe to say, though, that Jones would want to step out of the Killswitch shadow and focus on his new act without constant reminders of a band he left over three years ago.

In true NWOAHM style, the Los Angeles metallers open up the album with a bang. Fast double pedal beats and crunchy grooves signal that we a have a pure headbanger on our hands. Howard Jones’ trademark screams and growls dominate “Consume The Damned” along with killer riffs and full-throttle energy. Devil You Know pull no punches by also chucking in some deep breakdowns and a fiddly little solo, showing listeners how much they have to offer in this absolute pit starter. Follow-up track “The Way We Die” takes a more anthemic approach as Jones reminds us of his powerful singing voice in the chorus. The words “This is the way we die, with our heads held high” feel rather epic every time and you can’t help but join the frontman in singing along – No doubt this will be a crowd favourite.

The repetitive formula of heavy verses and melodic choruses gets rather predictable and boring after a while, though, especially in one sitting, but individually these songs are awesome in their own right. Devil You Know express their talents sublimely and keep up to date with what sounds great in modern metal and if any of the songs came on shuffle I doubt I would skip any of them anytime soon, but 47 minutes of the same thing over and over gets a little tedious at times. It certainly feels too easy to zone out after four or five songs in a row. The quartet have stuck to what they are good at, and Howard Jones’ vocals make it sound as if he could keep going on in the same powerful manner for another decade with ease, both with his harsh and his clean styles. Francesco Artusato’s guitar work is the only other real standout feature in these songs. His heavy grooves and softer melodies along with astonishing solos really make an impact alongside Jones’ vocals.

“The Bleed Red” isn’t an improvement from its predecessor “The Beauty of Destruction”, nor is it less impressive. It feels closer to a continuation, picking up exactly where the previous album left off. For the moment, it works considering most of the metal world has only started to pay attention to the band since early 2014 and are still trying to figure them out. In future endeavours, however, it might be wise to throw in something unexpected to keep listeners from getting bored with them.


Download: Consume The Damned, The Way We Die, Break The Ties
For The Fans Of: Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Unearth

Release date 06.11.2015
Nuclear Blast Records

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