After almost ten years together and four full-length releases, DevilDriver know how to make music that makes you move. Their fifth offering, ‘Beast’, is no exception. From opening track ‘Dead to Rights’ through to the fading tones of ‘Lend Myself to the Night’, DevilDriver refuse to let up, hitting you with track after track of groove orientated guitar hooks and fast, pounding drums.
While the guitar-led riffs are powerful and catchy, it’s drummer, John Boecklin, who truly steals the show and deserves special mention. Alongside providing quick and accurate beats, his drumming ties the album together and provides it with a real sense of momentum – see ‘Dead to Rights’ and ‘Hardened’ for examples. Conversely, it is front man, Dez Fafara, whose performance leaves the most to be desired. It’s not that he’s bad by any means – his vocals are powerful enough to keep them interesting – but lyrically most of his songs are dull and uninspiring.
‘Beast’ showcases some of the band’s heaviest material to date, and songs like ‘Blur’ and ‘Shitlist’ (two of the best on the album) will go down a storm when DevilDriver do what they do best – live performances.
Loud and in your face, though not unpleasantly so, ‘Beast’ is an appropriately titled album and one that clearly reveals the experience and talent of the band’s line-up. That said, DevilDriver aren’t pushing any boundaries with ‘Beast’, and they remain firmly within the heavier side of American metal alongside bands like Chimaira and Lamb of God. Nevertheless, DevilDriver manage to maintain their distinct personality, and the album is tightly constructed and thoroughly enjoyable.