For Fans Of
DevilDriver‘s sixth studio album, ‘Winter Kills’, is a record filled with pretty straightforward metal. There’s no twists and turns, no unexpected parts or little surprises. It’s just plain old heavy metal. This probably won’t be a deterrent for plenty of people, because ‘Winter Kills‘ is by no means a terrible record, it’s just not a particularly interesting one.
By now DevilDriver have been around long enough to establish their sound and get really comfortable with it. However, after more than a decade of activity it’s always nice to see a band try something new, both to challenge themselves and their audience. Sticking to what you know is one thing, but being almost completely unable to distinguish one album from any other in a group’s discography is something else altogether. ‘Winter Kills’ sounds like every other album they’ve released so far. Hence, if you’re a big DevilDriver fan already, you’ll love this one. If you’re looking for something innovative and refreshing, maybe not so much.
All this aside, ‘Winter Kills’ still has its strong points. The technicality is spot-on and instrumentation in general is tight and locked in. There are some really catchy and hard-hitting riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Pantera album, and the solos are written and executed well.
The vocals, on the other hand, don’t take long to become a bit of a drag. As mentioned before, it’s good to stick to what you know but lead singer Dez Fafara is stuck, nailed and riveted to what he knows. His husky, guttural style may be appropriate for the music the band lays down but you won’t hear a single shift in tone or delivery throughout the entire record.
‘Winter Kills‘ is a decent effort from DevilDriver, with some great riffs and passages that are bound to get some heads banging. There’s at least some small variation between tracks with some more groove-infused numbers and faster, thrashier songs as well. What the album lacks though, is soul. DevilDriver aren’t exactly treading new ground with their sound, doing nothing new or exciting to keep people interested. After a while all the tracks start to blend together and you’ll find yourself getting bored very quickly.
1. The Oath
3. Desperate Times
4. Winter Kills
5. The Appetite
7. Curses and Epitaphs
8. Caring’s Overkill
9. Haunting Refrain
10. Tripping Over Tombstones