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 DevilDriver - Winter Kills (2013) Album Review

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostDevilDriver - Winter Kills (2013) Album Review

DevilDriver - Winter Kills (2013)
Napalm Records -- Running Time 49:00

Score: 7/10

I'm going to admit straight away that I've never been a huge fan of DevilDriver, they are a band that very much polarises opinion. Of course in this heightened era of image coming first, a lot of that has to do with vocalist 'Dez Fafara's' previous (and recently revived) band Coal Chamber. Loved by some and despised by others Coal Chamber have made it pretty tough for DevilDriver to be accepted in some circles, even before some have actually heard them. I'm hopefully not that shallow, and have listened to previous albums! They most certainly have improved over the years, moving away from their Nu-Metal sounding debut but still not enough for me to really be grabbed by what they are doing!

Sixth album (and first for Napalm Records after five albums with Roadrunner) 'Winter Kills' though is, personally, quite a big step in the right direction. I'm almost certain that many people will disagree with me on that but this sounds more assured and the song writing is more consistent than previously. Fafara's vocals also create a love/hate relationship with people. You already know my thoughts on many harsh vocalists, but I've heard a lot worse than what he's doing here and the music itself more than makes up for any misgivings you might have about his delivery. This is a pretty relentless, powerful and enjoyable listen. Guitarists 'Jeff Kendrick' and 'Mike Spreitzer' are excellent throughout, new bass player 'Chris Towning' adds a nice low end and drummer John Boecklin...well he gets star of the album with his thunderous work behind the kit!

Opener 'Oath Of The Abyss' goes straight for the jugular and wins. Diverse drumming and pace build it nicely, it's very catchy indeed. 'Winter Kills' continues in this vein until track five 'The Appetite' which really does stand out as a good song. There is probably slightly more diversity in the second half of the album 'Curses And Epitaphs', 'Haunting Refrain (excellent guitar solo) and 'Tripping Over Tombstones' all add something very listenable to proceedings. Final track 'Sail' is the one that will surprise the most though. It is an excellent cover of the electro/indie 'AWOLnation' song and DevilDriver have completely made it their own, by far improving on the original. It's completely different from what has gone before and ends the album well!

Of course I've already seen many comments describing this as both the best and worst album they've recorded (and some much stronger words have been used as well). I'm going on record to say I think this is DevilDriver's best album to date. It's still not a classic but I would urge anyone who has only briefly listened to their work in the past to check 'Winter Kills' out. I think some of you might be quite surprised at what you hear!

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley

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