DevilDriver – Dealing With Demons Vol. 1

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label URL: Napalm Records
Released: 2020
Buy Album [URL]: Buy from Napalm Records
Band Websites: Official Website / Facebook / Bandcamp

Band line-up:

Dez Fafara – Vocals
Mike Spreitzer – Lead guitar
Neal Tiemann – Rhythm guitar
Austin D’Amond – Drums
Diego Ibarra – Bass

Tracklisting:

1.  Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me a Reason to Drink
7. Witches
8. Dealing with Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

Review

DEVILDRIVER have spent almost the last two decades pursuing a course of uncompromising artistry and dedication to the road. Led by the prolific Dez Fafara, the Californian crew have earned their reputation as one of the hardest working bands on the planet, while delivering a steady succession of brutal, yet distinctive albums along the way.

Their focus has remained laser-sharp, and never more so than on the monumental upcoming twin album project, Dealing With Demons. The first volume of the double offering – entitled Dealing With Demons I – is set for release on 2nd October 2020 via Napalm Records.

Dealing With Demons I (the band’s first release of new, original material since 2016’s Trust No One ) represents the onset of a final purging of the demons that have long haunted Dez Fafara and DEVILDRIVER’s music. From its eerie, ominous intro, and the self-explanatory opener, “Keep Away From Me” to the poignant ” Nest Of Vipers” and the chilling imagery of “Iona”, each track on Dealing With Demons I illustrates a different demon to be dealt with or released.

The opening track, Keep Away From Me, provides a powerful introduction to the album with a calm guitar intro and assistance from the crashing cymbal sounds. This suddenly changes when the vocals are introduced, providing a dreary and expressive experience. This track begins to set the tone for the rest of the album. Also, this track was accompanied by a new lyric video – a thought-provoking clip that paints a picture of positivity at its end.

Similarly to Keep Away From Me, the intro to Nest Of Vipers opens with a melodic clean guitar section which is later proceeded by heavier and faster instrumentals. One of my favourite tracks on this album has to be the longest track which is Wishing. This opens with a great drum pattern to welcome the listener into the song and maintains a decent and consistent rhythm throughout. Once the verses are reached, the vocals take a welcoming turn and are more cleaner with the odd section being more aggressive vocals.

One other track I thoroughly enjoyed was the title track Dealing With Demons. I felt there were tones and themes heavily influenced by bands such as Slayer and Machine Head. Closing the album is the track Scars Me Forever which seemed reminiscent of the first track on the album with, again, a calm guitar intro and then thrown into the heavier elements of what makes up DevilDriver. As a result, it is an epic finisher to the brilliant album.

Overall, I found this new album incredible and due to this being my first time listening to DevilDriver, it has heavily encouraged me to explore the rest of their discography and indulge in the great music they have produced.

Review by Rossy Maguire

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