Warning: I just saw Killswitch Engage live a week or so ago so I’m still on a KSE catalog high right now. That said, their new disc with Jesse Leach isn’t out until 2016 but if you need a KSE fix then Devil You Know has you covered. Well, not covered. They’re a whole different kind of awesome featuring former KSE vocalist Howard Jones and on their sophomore outing they manage to truly stand on their own.
Honestly, the first Devil You Know record was a blip on the music radar for me. I remember it coming out. I remember kinda liking it but it ultimately did nothing for me. Sorry?
Which brings us to their latest, They Bleed Red. Simply put? It’s pretty infallible. Those rousing choruses Howard Jones crooned the shit out of in KSE are back and you want heaviness? Yeah, this one has that. An abundance of it actually.
And you know you want the “Deluxe/Special/Whatever You Wanna Call It” version for a scorching rendition of “Eye Of The Tiger”. I was just yesterday morning blasting out “Holy Diver” in fact! And this one beats that (All hail Dio, though)
Beginning with “Consume The Damned”, DYK hit the floor running with a barrage of guitars and drums as Jones rages through with cries of “I’m living on borrowed time!” leading to a huge chorus. Comparisons aside, first single “The Way We Die” is catchy as all hell and sits along Jones’ finest KSE hits with a Meshuggah-style riffing that almost steals the show.
Speaking of riffage, Francesco Artusato displays phenomenal guitar prowess on “Your Last Breath” which also shows off Jones’ vocal bravado even more. “Stay Of Execution”, meanwhile, has some Lombardo-sized drum slayings effortlessly provided by John Sankey while “Shattered Silence” is pure headbangers delight from start to finish.
“Break The Ties” is a Jones jam and a half with its sweeping choruses and anthemic guitar lines and then “Let The Pain Take Hold” enters and treads ballad territory but is still brutal with its intensity. Intense is also a fitting description for “Master Of None” which ups the metal ante to new extremes of excellence.
While he’s known for Blood Has Been Shed and Killswitch Engage mostly, They Bleed Red by Devil You Know might be Howard Jones finest moment yet.They Bleed Red is out through Nuclear Blast now. Get yours here or here.