Let’s be honest: This is probably the most important DevilDriver record since their debut dropped back in 2002. Luckily, DevilDriver has both the experience and the chops almost 20 years into their career that not only maintains and sustains but also still entertains the hell out of listeners with a new record that sounds like that band once dubbed Deathride who were furiously fighting to further themselves from a certain Spookycore outfit.
And friends, this is just the beginning.
The first of a proposed two-album set, Dealing With Demons I is a vicious, visceral, and tight collection of tunes from the masters of modern Groove-based Metal that’ll leave fans chomping at the bit for what’s to come on II.
Lead single and album opener, “Keep Away From Me”, was an aural atomic bomb and unlikely anthem for the current times when it landed and everything that fans yearning for new DevilDriver would want. But it was another anthem, “Wishing”, which was released next that really reels you in with wailing guitars, a synchronous rhythmic blast from drummer Austin D’Amond and bassist Diego Ibarra and an unforgettable performance from vocalist Dez Fafara that’s equal parts Ozzy and Ian Curtis at times.
And from that point in the album on, it’s like a light shining down from the heavens….or a feeling of warmth under your tootsies from that other place that’ll give listeners the willies when the songs that follow enter one by one by one to, ahem, drive home track after track of even more focused DevilDriver.
“You Give Me a Reason To Drink” is a rollicking stomper that features Fafara’s son, Simon Blade Fafara, who adds his own signature snarl alongside Dad’s own hellacious howl. Later, the title track is moody and maniacal, built from one heavy ass riff which fuels the fire that’s to come while “The Damned Don’t Die” takes a bit of that twang used on their Outlaws ‘Til The End, Vol. 1 Country record and puts it in a proper Heavy Metal blender.
To backtrack before “Wishing”, though, “Vengeance Is Clear” is just plain nasty as it piles on the shredding from Neal Tiemann and Mike Spreitzer’s guitars while Fafara sounds as feral as ever. “Nest Of Vipers” is similarly blistering and pure DevilDriver through and through yet still manages to up the ante on their now uncanny sound.