Californian groove metallers Devildriver are back with their tenth studio album on Friday, and a follow up to 2020’s Vol. I. I have to admit, though I like the music I have heard from the band, I can’t say that I’ve checked out much. The odd song here and there as opposed to a full album. That all changes today, and boy am I excited. I love all things groove, thrash and melodeath, so let’s dive right in!
The album opens with a slow build into a fantastic, heavy, sludgy riff. It’s Devildriver to a T and I love it. Dez’s awesome scream comes in over the awesome verse riff and amazing drumming. It gives off heavy 2000s Machine Head vibes, which I cannot complain about at all. The chorus doesn’t change the formula all too much, but still manages to be pretty catchy and memorable. There’s an awesome guitar solo in the middle too, even if it is a little brief for my liking. A pretty simple structure to open but it was a good choice and a good track. Great riffs, overall great playing and some amazing vocals.
‘Mantra’ keeps the heaviness going with the evil opening riff. It leads to another full-on, heavy verse. The riffing is really excellent, a massive highlight of the album as a whole, to be honest. The chorus is great and crushing, it all being brutal so far. The bridge/breakdown riff is also AWESOME. It’s another simple structured track but I loved this. It makes our playlist.
‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ again opens on a great, heavy riff. The drums are the real highlight of this track, between the double-pedal and cymbal work, it’s all amazing. Davier Pérez is a pretty underrated player! I like them adding some dynamics for a moment with the stripped-back, clean vocalled parts between the verses and choruses. It broke things up nicely, especially when so far the whole album has been a violent punch to the nose. It’s another fantastic chorus and ear-worm; it’ll be stuck in my head for days to come. Another great track and another highlight of the album.
The quieter start to ‘Summoning’ was a nice change of pace. It also led to another fantastic, evil, groovy riff. The slow chug of the verses was awesome, and again the drumming is top notch. The chorus has a bit of a power metal edge to it, much like Parkway Drive’s last couple of albums. It’s a massively fun track and another that makes the playlist!
‘Through the Depths’ is another slower opener, the clean chord progression reminding me a lot of ‘Seasons in the Abyss’. It then hits into a huge riff that is just pure black metal, before easing off a little into melodeath. The track also has just a touch of the chaotic energy channelled by the likes of Tallah, though that may just be me. It drops back down to the cleaner chord progression for an outro too, which was a very nice touch!
‘Bloodbath’, and the rest of the tracks, for that matter, are more of the same. That isn’t a complaint at all, there are some fantastic riffs, melodies and moments throughout the four tracks. It simply means that there isn’t a huge amount of variety for me to write about in my review, so I’d end up repeating things and it’d get boring. Again, I shall repeat, all are fantastic tracks if you are into the sort of noise that Devildriver produce. And ‘This Relationship, Broken’ is one hell of a closing track.
Overall: This was a great heavy album! If you’re into Devildriver, or groove/thrash/melodeath in general, this will be right up your street. I have to admit, I was hoping for slightly more diversity in the music, it felt like a one note album at times, but maybe that was because of how close they are to Machine Head and how spoilt we have been by them over the years. This is a great album in its own right and has definitely gotten me into Devildriver more!
The Score: 7.5/10