Devildriver – Beast (2011)

DevilDriver has wasted no time putting out Beast, their fifth studio album, but the seeming quickness of the recording has sacrificed nothing in terms of quality.  Dez Fafara and company have produced their darkest and most aggressive album yet, making its title quite appropriate.  Anybody worried that the band may have been turning towards the mainstream on their last album, Pray for Villains, need look no further than Beast in order to have all their fears assuaged.  Beast lays down one violent, charged track after another asking no quarter and taking no prisoners.  Luckily for all you metalheads out there, they have invited us along for the ride, and what a ride it is.

The album kicks in with a fist to the teeth in “Dead to Rights,” the first single off of the album.  The riff is sinister, the beat is pounding, and the lyrics are angry.  DevilDriver keeps the momentum going with “Bring the Fight (To the Floor).”  The album slows down by a barely perceptible degree on “Hardened,” but in no way sacrifices brutality.  “Shitlist” comes next, my personal favorite off of the album.  This song begins with a stomping beat and quickly shifts into a speeding verse section.  DevilDriver continues to drag the listener further down into their tempest of madness over the next few tracks.  The second half of the album does start to lose a little momentum as the songs start to blend together.  However, “Coldblooded” is definitely a highlight and appears poised to be the next single off of the album.

Towards the end of the album, DevilDriver changes up the pace and surprises us a little with “Black Soul Choir,” their first ever cover to be featured on a studio album.  This rendition of a 16 Horsepower song is done beautifully, changing the pace of the album enough to renew interest towards the end, yet still transmitting a message of underlying evil that sits well with the rest of the album.  The song fits right in and, despite being a cover, is easily one of the best songs on the album.

The album finishes strongly with “Lend Myself to the Night,” a heavy number that seems to encompass the general theme of the album.  As Dez screams “I lend myself to the night/I cast myself to the wind/Fuck it/It’s worth the risk,” his sense of apathy and anger is not lost on the audience.  After the album is finished most will probably want to instantly start it over and bang their heads ferociously.  These songs are something for enraged headbangers to rejoice over.  Dez Fafara’s unique screaming vocals coupled with John Boecklin’s hard-hitting beats do not disappoint.

This album is dark and violent.  It definitely takes the band in a different direction than both Pray for Villains and The Last Kind Words.  It is music to fight to, and I have no doubt that it will lend physical strength to those who want it to.  This album will kick your ass.  It is different than anything DevilDriver has done before in that it takes their ferocity to previously unreached heights and stops at nothing.  This is DevilDriver in purest form, and it feels right.

we had the opportunity to talk with Devildriver’s singer Dez Fafara about Beast and this is what he told us:

One Response to “Devildriver – Beast (2011)”

  1. […] Arizona radio hire The Blaze and Arizona Metal recently collaborated on an talk with vocalist Dez Fafara of Santa Barbara, California metallers […]

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