Sunday, January 28, 2007

Retrospective: DevilDriver

The bane of many a “troo” metal fan due to the past membership that vocalist Dez Fafara held in nu-metal forerunners Coal Chamber, DevilDriver has shared the stage with many artists dubbed “troo” metal or “trve kvlt”. Many metal fans refuse to give DevilDriver even a hint of a chance to prove themselves musically, but the least biassed reviewers have pointed out that both DevilDriver albums have been pretty decent.

The first self-titled DevilDriver album came out in 2003 which was perfect timing. Nu-metal had begun falling in popularity by the time 2001 had rolled around and 2003 was a landmark year for new bands breaking out. The self-titled album was an amalgamation of groove metal, hardcore, thrash with little dashes of the 80's, death meta,l and black metal here and there.

“The Fury Of Our Makers Hard” came out in 2005, and saw many of those death metal and black metal influences hide under the surface in a more subtle fashion. Devildriver extended the standard song length from their previous album which was around 3 minutes to typically 4 minutes on “The Fury Of Our Makers Hand” by having bigger intros and bigger breaks between songs.

The DevilDriver albums aren’t without their drawbacks though. The lyrical content contains lots of cliched snappy one-liners, and some songs have titles being repeated as the chorus being phrases that make absolutely no sense. How many songs are needed to talk about how tough one can be going through hard times? The standard of verse/chorus/verse/chorus/break/chorus (or sometimes adding a last 3rd verse) also wears the listener down. It would be nice to hear those verses and choruses mixed up a bit. There’s also a lacking of really fast songs on both DevilDriver albums which sucks away some intensity, not to mention no real slow songs either. Since the tempo is typically mid-paced, hearing a lot of DevilDriver songs all at once starts to become plodding.

Fans tend to be sharply divided about DevilDriver in either a love or hate position. The people I know personally seem to feel this way, while personally I see DevilDriver as a pretty decent band.

DevilDriver At Roadrunner Records


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