DevilDriver – Top 15 New Wave of American Heavy Metal Albums
Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:33:34
These are the albums that defined the aughts.
The '00s were quite a fertile period for heavy music. So much so that the press and fans anointed the era "The New Wave of American Heavy Metal" or "The New Wave of American Metal." Same difference. MTV resurrected Headbanger's Ball, with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed installed as the host. Late night TV shows, like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, were booking the bands of the era to perform with increasing frequency throughout the decade. Yes, those firebreathing noise merchants in The Dillinger Escape Plan played Conan and things were never, ever the same.
If you require more proof that the public and media hungered for metal equally, well, think about how Ozzfest ballooned, inviting heavier bands to play both the main and the side stages. The annual heavy metal summer camp was eventually immobilized and replaced by The Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which also grew exponentially and played sheds.
Most impressive were the sales numbers of these bands. Albums repeatedly went platinum and gold, with the likes of Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God and Atreyu notching RIAA certifications and awards for achieving monster sales. More notable was the fact that you could turn on the radio and hear these same bands on the dial and not always after midnight on specialty shows.
Do we even need to mention the Grammy nominations? It made us realize that people with their ears to the underground and in possession of a keen knowledge of the aggressive music scene were influencing the balloting, since extreme bands were notching noms. It wasn't as though this was further atonement for the Jethro Tull gaffe that still haunts the metal category today; it was an institution recognizing and supporting a movement!
Hands down—the '00s were a legit and rich era for heavy metal. These are the albums that defined the period.
14. DevilDriver - The Last Kind Words
Some metal bands are coasting and barely running on fumes by the time they make it to the third album. That is, if the band even gets that far. Said bands are often petering out as they approach the finish line. That's understandable, given the fury with which their hands (and bodies) approach their instruments. Metal is exhausting to play, so it make sense that some bands can't or don't go the distance. Then there is the almighty DevilDriver, who don't fit the mold or follow what other metal bands are doing.
DevilDriver's 2007 epic The Last Kind Words was the band's third album and it's easily their best. Instead of phoning it in, they were firing on all pistons at this point. Over the course of two prior albums, the band worked tirelessly to establish itself beyond frontman Dez Fafara's previous outfit, the gold-selling Coal Chamber, which often caught flack as part of the nu metal scene.
Regardless, DevilDriver developed their sound and their chops as an entity unto themsleves, with the players, namely guitarist Jeff Kendrick and drummer John Boecklin, coming into their own and turning heads with their talents and efforts.
"Clouds Over California" is easily the best song of the platter, but "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" and "Head on to Heartache" are unforgettable jams, as well. This was, and remains, DevilDriver's most flawless execution.
Watch the video for "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" from DevilDriver:
'The Last Kind Words' from DevilDriver is available on Roadrunner Records.
See the other artists and albums on our Top Top 15 New Wave of American Heavy Metal Albums feature!