Yes! The album we’ve been waiting months to hear; the album from which each sneak-peek track we’ve been telling you about (“ Review:Dead to Rights” and “Coldblooded“); the album we would possibly give up our first-born child for. ’s Beast is finally here… and from start to finish it’s a bone-crushing rocker.
DevilDriver – “Dead to Rights” Official Video
Although there are some criticisms about Beast that could be made, such as the basic angst-ridden lyrics that could have been written by any loner in high school or dude going through a bad breakup and the solos and bridges that should be longer, it’s a solid effort that will have you wanting to get into a pit, pump your fist, or show your horns. Basically, there was greater hope that DevilDriver would have matured a bit more. Certainly, their playing has advanced, but more depth was desired.
Beast was produced by Mark Lewis (All That Remains, Trivium, The Black Dahlia Murder), who certainly helped develop the bridges and intros on such tracks as “Shitlist,” “Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened),” and “You Make Me Sick,” but much of the intensity of the album is owed to Dez Fafara who has stated that he was going through a dark time during the writing process.
Jon Miller’s prowess on the bass can be heard best on “Hardened” and there’s hope that DevilDriver will give him some more room to move on future albums. There’s also plenty of old-school, Maiden-esque dueling guitar solos sprinkled throughout Beast, but, as stated, they should have been longer. And Fafara’s vocals are about the best yet on a DevilDriver album, full of death growls and suffering screams. John Boecklin sounds like a man possessed behind the kit, and he’s not just a fury of rage on the double bass, though there is plenty of that. His beats are complex and full of rolls and crash cymbals.
The standout track on Beast is most definitely “Blur,” which has an anthemic value to it, but it also best exemplifies the musicianship of the whole band. Insane drumming, nice groove, a nice heavy bass-driven bridge at about 3:30 brings the track home, and Fafara sounds like he’s screaming from hell.