DevilDriver

Trust No One

Written by: MAK on 21/06/2016 15:04:11

Since the return of Coal Chamber, DevilDriver has had to be shifted aside for a couple of years while Dez Fafara gave the old school fans what they wanted. However, the focus is now back on DevilDriver as they have recently released their seventh album, “Trust No One”. Quite a lot is different this time, members have come and gone in the DevilDriver camp as founding musicians, drummer Josh Boecklin and guitarist Jeff Kendrick left the band.

Boecklin was replaced by Austin D'Amond, formerly of Chimaira and Kendrick was replaced by Neal Tiemann. Chris Towning, who played bass on the 2013 album, “Winter Kills”, also left and was replaced by former Static-X bassist, Diego "Ashes" Ibarra. With the backbone of DevilDriver ripped out and Fafara being the only remaining original member, there was a level of uncertainty in how the band would sound. But rest assured, “Trust No One” still follows a lot of the traditions that make DevilDriver so distinctive.

Album opener, “Testimony of Truth”, is a good sign that the DevilDriver we know remains. The drumming is still intensely technical, the grooves flow in a crushing manner. The lead guitars whine and unleash fiddly little segments and Fafara’s voice is recognisably coarse like it has always been. No punches are pulled early on as “Bad Deeds” is a full- blast speedy onslaught on the ears. The double pedal is still mind-blowingly fast and the brutal riffs match the beats perfectly. DevilDriver is known for monstrous circle pits and this is a song designed for that live energy.

“My Night Sky” slows the tempo down for the most part and lets the grooves sway you into a rhythmic headbang while the guitar ambience croons in the background. Segments shift from the outright heavy over calm and collected to full-on intensity. The level of diversity shows the evolution with which the band have grown since we first heard them in 2003. It is certainly a far cry from a track like the groove-laden "I Dreamed I Died" though video track "Daybreak" has a similar tone, with a hint of "Resurrection Blvd".

DevilDriver started out in the early 2000s with some of the sickest and heaviest grooves in metal. Though, what is noticeable with each album, is that the band progresses to focus more and more on melody than the all out fast and heavy that hooked us in early on. Not that the chugging riffs and relentless drumming has been overshadowed, they flow as strongly as ever, but the solos and soothing melodies get more time to flourish over the shreds that once captivated us.

Though all is not lost, “This Deception” and “House Divided” sound like they were leftover songs from the 2007 release, "The Last Kind Words". The grooves and beats work together in machine gun fashion and the melodies layered on top are as ominously hooking like they were when DevilDriver was at their best. The musicianship on this song is possibly the most mesmerising the band has been in a long time. “Above It all” shows the hunger to be intensely heavy and the ability to deliver a perhaps unintentional catchy chorus as the repeated title words get stuck in your head pretty quickly.

As you get further into “Trust No One”, the reminder that DevilDriver became almost slugging and started to underwhelm us in 2009 seems forgotten. This is the most intently sounding DevilDriver I have heard since "The Last Kind Words". It is certainly the most impressive the band have sounded since before “Pray For Villains”. It’s a most welcome return for the Californians.

8

Download: My Night Sky, This Deception, House Divided, Daybreak
For The Fans Of: Lamb Of God, Chimaira, Machine Head, Shadows Fall
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 13.05.2016
Napalm Records

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