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Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: DevilDriver - Trust No One


California groovemachine DevilDriver is back with a devastating new album, ready to tear you a new one! ‘’Trust No One’’ is the band’s first release since the departure of drummer Boecklin and guitarist Kendrick, the news of which left me and many others surprised and anxious to know what was in DevilDriver’s future, especially since the tight drums, other than Fafara’s trademark roars, are really what makes DevilDriver (for me, at least). Later in 2015, fans finally got the news they were waiting for: drums were to be filled in by no one other than ex-Chimaira’s Austin D’Amond, a choice that could not have been better. Guitars were to be replaced by Neil Tiemann (David Cook, Midwest Kings) and this year it was announced that Diego ‘’Ashes’’ Ibarra, known for his work with the late Wayne Static, would be the band’s new bass player.

If you’ve been following these guys, you’ll know that since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2003, DevilDriver’s studio productions have become increasingly more aggressive, technical, and generally just way more ruthless *subtle reference to their single of off 2013’s ‘’Winter Kills’’ album*. I have to say, I was a little afraid a line-up change might compromise the band’s characteristic sound, but damn, was I wrong! I wasn’t completely blown away by the first single ‘’Daybreak’’, but I still had a blast listening to it, and it’s a great showcase of the current line-ups sound. So basically, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a look at some of the tracks.

Album opener ‘’Testimony of Truth’’ is a track that sounds like it could’ve been a bonus track on ‘’Pray for Villains’’. Part of this song was teased a while back, which fans all the more impatient to hearing some new tunes. This track does not disappoint, seriously. Like the rest of the album, it rages all the way from start to end, with a diversity of sounds and speeds. What I noticed immediately in this song is how you can actually hear influences from their newly recruited musicians, but the DevilDriver sound we all know is still there. This tracks not only marks the beginning of a new album, but also a band reborn. Track #2, ‘’Bad Deeds’’. Whereas the previous track still shows similarities between old and new, ‘’Bad Deeds’’ is something totally new. For starters, the intro is something I’ve never heard these guys do before. Overall, this is a very fast and angry song, but when the chorus hits, the sound gets really eerie and evil, something I’ve only experienced on 2011’s ‘’Beast’’ with titles such as ‘’You Make Me Sick’’. I was really impressed by this song, and it’s certainly among the heaviest on this release. ‘’My Night Sky’’ is up next, and it keeps that evil vibe going with a lower tempo, which casts an ever darker shadow over this song. Again, this is something completely new and unrelatable to previous works, yet matches the band so well. The title track is probably the most anticipated song off this album, since the band has done a pretty good job keeping this album’s content a secret. ‘’Trust No One’’ is undoubtedly the best song, whichever way you look at it. This song is relentless, yet very emotional. The lyrics are amazing, kind of reminds me of the ‘’The Last Kind Words’’ era, which is never a bad thing! Musically, the song features a variety of sounds; expect a lot of mid/high tempo drums, harsh riffs, shredding and much more. The chorus on this one is an absolute beast! ‘’Feeling Ungodly’’, a track that took a little longer to grow on me, but I want to point this one in particular out, since it is very different from the rest of the album. This song shows the groovier / funkier side of DevilDriver, with a lot of extra added bass and a completely different groove. Album closer ‘’For What It’s Worth’’: the ‘’heaviest love song of all’’ according to the man himself. Very strong, emotional song overall. Beautifully written, the sound matches the type of song really well, as does the beat, surprisingly. He may just be right about this one.

Overall, this album definitely deserves a 9/10 for its authentic feel, its ruthlessness, its diversity and much more. ‘’Trust No One’’ is yet another great example of how a band can noticeably evolve, yet still sound the way you’re used to. DevilDriver has literally taken a sound and made it their own. If you were displeased with their first single ‘’Daybreak’’, I hereby urge you to listen to the rest of the album!

Written by Nino Milillo

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