DevilDriver – Trust No One
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: May 13, 2016
California death-groove thrashers, DevilDriver, return this month with perhaps the band’s strongest effort since 2009’s Pray for Villains. Trust No One is the group’s seventh studio effort, and the first to feature new guitarist Neal Tiemann and former Chimaira drummer, Austin D’Amond. The new record is the first since 2013’s Winter Kills, marking the longest break between records since the band’s 2002 inception. For the third straight album, the band worked with producer Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse) of Audiohammer Studios in Florida.
Trust No One is easily a more aggressive effort than its predecessor, less moody, and denser overall. The album opens with “Testimony of Truth”, rolling out with melodic guitar work and a building sense of what’s to come as Fafara caustically growls, “I spit on your corpse–Nothing left to do but put my boot on you…” over D’Amond’s thunderous drum work. The riffing from Mike Spreitzer and Tiemann is instantly memorable, with lead elements that seem to cascade across the rhythmic foundation of the song.
“Bad Deeds” is a punishing monolith that recalls classic Slayer. Fafara is absolutely menacing, and D’Amond swings between a crushing groove and deranged pummeling. “My Night Sky” begins with a coiling riff and ominous harsh growls and builds to a mid-tempo, grinding thrasher: “I’m built for the kill—it’s my night sky…”
Swirling guitars and rapid-firing drumming pace the “This Deception”, while “Above it All” is a seething tempest of roiling brutality. The album’s first single, “Daybreak” harks back to the band’s early works and even taps into Fafara’s old Coal Chamber days in places. The razor like riffing, dual solo harmonies, and huge vocals make the song an instant DevilDriver classic.
The title track is perhaps the fastest and most pulverizing on the record. Dez’s vocal delivery is crushes like a death metal rap. The guitars almost feel as if they are chasing Fafara’a vocals. The band next takes aim at religion on the hostile attack of “Feeling Ungodly”.
“Retribution” is a song built for circle pits, while “For What it’s Worth” juxtaposes a somber intro and against a turbulent fist-in-the-air ode to the resilience of love. The latter is one of the more heavily emotive tracks Fafara has ever recorded for DevilDriver.
With Trust No One, DevilDriver deliver a sonic throat punch, serving up an album packed with visceral rage, relentless rhythms, and dynamic guitar interplay. The record resonates with an intensity and viciousness that is unique to DevilDriver. The band has returned to the power and dynamic vitality of its earlier albums, while continuing to push its sound forward. In DevilDriver we trust.