For Fans Of
2009 saw Devildriver release ’Pray For Villains’ and together with Lamb of God‘s ‘Wrath’ helped set the standard for the groove metal genre. Until now, that standard was never tested. They haven’t made any radical changes, they’ve simply stuck to their proven formula and released an album that exceeds everything they have done in the past.
Most notably, it’s angrier. Des Fafara has made no secret of the fact that during the writing and recording of this album he was going through a dark and emotional stage in his life, and it’s something that has evidently translated into the volatility of the record. Every syllable is spat with so much energy that it becomes impossible to remember that Fafara has now entered his 40’s. He says fuck a lot, too.
I was lucky enough to talk with Fafara before the release and describes beast as something very visceral and something that will kick you in the face and instantly remove your teeth. They had released ‘Dead to Rights‘ about a month prior, but when I pressed play on the album and I was treated to my tenth or eleventh listening of the song, it was still not possible to contain the urge to start moving. The album is felt within every bone of the body, their most visceral release to date.
It wasn’t easy picking favourite tracks for this album; it’s not the sort of release that has its two or three stand-out tracks that you’ll always find yourself skipping to. It’s vicious, intense and grinding from start to finish, a groove metal juggernaught that does not slow down for a second. I will however give massive props to their cover of 16 Horsepower‘s ‘Black Soul Choir‘. Covering a country tune is seldom attempted by a metal band and obviously it’s nothing like the original. It is however, fucking awesome.
Any negativity associated with this album would be associated with the lack of innovation, but innovating was not something that Devildriver needed to do. If you didn’t like Devildriver to begin with, don’t expect ‘Beast‘ to change your mind. However, if you are a Devildriver fan, expect this to be your new favourite album.
Devildriver haven’t reinvented themselves, they haven’t altered their songwriting formula in the slightest. They’ve simply done everything they have done in the past and done it better – their natural evolution as a band has lead to the creation of their finest piece of work to date. An early contender for metal release of the year.
01. Dead To Rights
02. Bring The Fight (To The Floor)
05. Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)
06. You Make Me Sick
09. The Blame Game
10. Black Soul Choir [16 Horsepower cover]
11. Crowns Of Creation
12. Lend Myself To The Night