Label: Roadrunner Records
Release date: February 22, 2011
Lock your doors and hide your loved ones as the Beast is set to be unleashed upon the world next week by none other than…DevilDriver! Tearing up the metal scene since 2002, these boys are set to release their most brutal work so far.
A year ago when Metalholic talked with DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara, he told us the band had already chosen the name for their next album. Perhaps the reason he chose to keep the title a secret was because he knew even then what a true Beast this record would be.
Fafara, formerly of Coal Chamber started working on what would become DevilDriver in 2002. Fafara was unhappy in Coal Chamber (I can’t blame him) and wanted heavier play. So he left the band and joined with other musicians that fit the style he wanted. Originally calling the band Deathride, they were forced to change the name because their label, Roadrunner Records, were not able to secure a copyright. They finally settled on a name, DevilDriver, which refers to bells Italian witches used to drive evil forces away. The band wasted no time in releasing their self-titled debut in 2003 and they continue pumping out an album every two years. Which brings us to this year’s offering, Beast.
One thing about DevilDriver, their style may not change much, and you know what you’re gonna get, but it still kicks your ass every fucking time. That said, the intensity and anger of Fafara seem to have increased to a higher level in this album. Beast is full of extreme, harsh lyrics. Fafara, who says he was going through a dark time when he wrote this record, also had to move in with friends for a few weeks due to wildfires and attributes these as other factors in the album’s angrier works.
John Boecklin is crushing on the drums; believe me, the pounding in your head doesn’t stop when the music ends. Bassman Jon Miller, who formed a band with guitarist Jeff Hendrick in high school, is absolutely savage on the bottom end. The brutal thrashing and melodic play of guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Kendrick is insane. You WILL jump around. The only time you will be off your feet during this explosive outpouring of soul-stealing eargasm is if you get run over in the pits.
Beast is an absolute monster as it tears out of the gate with “Dead To Rights”. This was the first single, and when it was released on January 10, 2011, throngs of fans attempting to download it overwhelmed the servers, crashing them for a day and a half. The video for “Dead To Rights” was released this week, and it is deep, dark and perhaps even chilling.
“Bring The Fight (To The Floor)” is another of my favorites. This song is aimed at all the shit-talkers out there. Loud, brutal and angry, it brings a clear message. Shut your mouth already and bring the fight to the floor.
Another notable track is the punishing, “Shitlist”: “You burned the bridges, you sold the lies, you’re on the shitlist!”
Other standout songs include “Blur”, “Hardened” and ” Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)”.
Roadrunner Records is offering a free download of the track, “Coldblooded”, another heavy (hell, they’re all heavy) track with booming drums and a sweet solo. You can check it out and even grab your free copy here.
Mark Lewis, who engineered the band’s 2007 album The Last Kind Words, handled production duties this time around.
Overall, this album is a major step forward for DevilDriver and they should enjoy even more success than they did with 2009’s Pray For Villains. And that record was pretty badass! Beast pounds your brain from beginning to end and there is no slowing this locomotive down. The added brutality should bring DevilDriver even more death metal fans as the Beast is truly unleashed upon the eager souls of millions of fans. And the rest…well, I guess they are just grinfucked!
Beast is a masterpiece of death metal brutality!
Dez Fafara – vocals
Mike Spreitzer – guitar
Jeff Kendrick – guitar
Jon Miller – bass
John Boecklin – drums
1. Dead To Rights
2. Bring The Fight (To The Floor)
5. Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)
6. You Make Me Sick
9. The Blame Game
10. Black Soul Choir (16 Horsepower cover)
11. Crowns Of Creation
12. Lend Myself To The Night