DEVILDRIVER – Devildriver

DEVILDRIVER - Devildriver


Road Runner Records
Release date: October 28, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Dez Fafara (ex-Coal Chamber) is back with a new band: DevilDriver! Judging by Fafara’s name, you’d probably guess they played marches or fanfare music or something, but that’s surprisingly enough not the case. Instead, it’s Death Metal of a relatively brutal kind that’s on the menu, and in all reality, it doesn’t taste all that bad! At least it tastes much better than coal … of course coal tablets are very effective if you’ve got a stomach ache … but you know they’re pretty ugly and have been known to leave some bad stains on your clothes if you spill them! Oh well…

How about the album then? Well, there are both positives and negatives, I’d say. There’s some serious aggression on display here – this is a working-class-band-fighting-upwards album – and the boys seem so confident and true to their cause that it works very well. However, they still they lack a bit in the song writing department.

There’re some real highlights in this album, though. “What Does it Take To Be A Man,” for example, is a groove-masters delight, and every Metalhead out there who sometimes feels frustrated with government, authorities, and the like should have a listen to this one. “I Could Care Less,” with its cool guitar theme, and the mighty “The Mountain” are definite other highlights. When I heard “Die” performed live I thought it was messy and repetitive, but the recorded version works much better. Dez’s vocals sound great on the studio version of “Die,” and throughout the whole album, actually, because he’s got just the right attitude going.

The band seems tight too, although there is little “spectacular” stuff going on. The solos are in the Slayer vein — with more focus on aggression than musicianship — and they really don’t work very well. The riffing is a bit variable too – “Nothing’s Wrong” stands out as the song with 2004’s worst main riff (so far) – but there’s some cool stuff going on later in the album to make up for it. Getting the right groove down is essential in this style of music, and to a certain extent these lads manage to do just that.

Lyrically, these backyard babies are not pretending to be the next Wilde or Poe, but the simplicity works pretty well. “This is the last great hate song,” Dez screams in “Die,” and it actually sounds like he means it.

All in all, this is a promising effort indeed, and Dez Fafara proves there still is use for him in the music business (as mentioned, I have no idea if there was use for him before, as I had not heard of him before I got this album, but the sentence sounded cool and very journalistic). It’s not the beginning of the Fourth Reich, but if aggression’s your bag, you can always stuff this album in it (haha)!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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