DevilDriver "Winter Kills" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:05:08
Metal rarely gets more vicious than DevilDriver. Once again, the Southern California groove titans prove why they've outlasted most of the scene that they emerged from. Remember that movement of metal bands from the turn of the century? You know what we're referencing. It was the stream of groups copping a little At the Gates, a little Hatebreed, a little Pantera, and thrashing like mad on the OZZfest second stage. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago. We've got four bands from that era who are still going strong—Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Mastodon, and DevilDriver.
In some ways, DevilDriver remains the most fierce because they don't have a choice. Every record possesses the urgency of a fight to the death, and that's why they're so goddamn good. Winter Kills is no exception. This is their The Great Southern Trendkill. It's an exposition (and exorcism) of immortal grooves and mind-blowing playing. "The Oath" swings from off-time riff assault and battery courtesy of Jeff Kendrick and Mike Spreitzer as John Boecklin nails down a staggering percussive wall. Over the musical maelstrom, Dez Fafara storms out of the gate with impressive delivery and an inimitable cadence. When they converge, all hell breaks loose.
Kendrick and Spreitzer don't get enough credit. They're still one of the genre's tightest and toughest duos, dropping like the Tower of Terror from the Satanically catchy six-string potency of "Ruthless" to the moody atmospherics of "Haunting Refrain". Meanwhile, Boecklin belongs on the cover of drum magazines worldwide. Just listen to "The Appetite" or "Winter Kills" for proof. Drummers take note. This is how you play with heart and like your life fucking depends on it.
Meanwhile, Fafara's charisma shines through at every turn, adding melody in at all the right spots. Take the almost punk-y stomp of "Tripping Over Tombstones" or the potentially massive crossover cover of AWOLNATION's "Sail".
There's a reason DevilDriver is still here. They're one of the best metal bands of the past decade.
What's your favorite DevilDriver song?
Album is out August 27!
Listen to "Ruthless" below!