Devildriver’s debut is a seriously underrated album. I can remember at the time reviews were not kind about the band and most magazines only cared about the fact that their singer Dez Farara used to be in the much less heavy band Coal Chamber. Years of hard work and consistently good songwriting has slowly won over larger and larger sections of the metal community until now they are simply a fact of life, a well respected metal institution.
This album isn’t the most indicative of the band’s overall sound as newer albums have saw more melo-death influences find their way into the bands sound after primary songwriter Evan Pitts left the band, however there is still enough similarities in style that if you have heard their newer work you will still find this album enjoyable. The thing that people are now realising is that the band are just good songwriters and this album is full of absolute corkers.
Tracks like “Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned)” and “The Mountain” along with live circle pit favourite “Meet the Wretched” are still some of the best songs in the bands increasingly impressive catolougue.
This album is very groove orientated, with parts of the album sharing a surprising amount in common with more respected bands like Lamb of God than people would’ve liked to admit at the time, mixed with some almost black metal style riffs hidden here and there in songs to spice things up.
There are a few out of place, but extremely welcome numbers on the album that are just really short, fast and aggressive songs with primarily extreme metal riffs, such as “Die (And Die Now)” and opener “Nothing’s Wrong?” that keep things very interesting, especially on an album that at the time got accused of one dimensionality.
In terms of production, the album is absolutely solid, almost even better produced than their follow up album ‘The Fury of Our Makers Hand,’and finds an excellent balance between clarity and heaviness.
To summarise, Devildriver’s self titled debut album is a great record that didn’t get the credit it deserved and if you like Devildriver you really owe it to yourself to check it out.