DevilDriver Albums Ranked

Hate list features? Feel free to skip this article and others in this series.

Here I’ll be ranking the albums by certain bands in order from Best (actually my subjective favourite) to worst/least good (subjectively, in my opinion). Number 1 is obviously the best. The lowest number is my least favourite.

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DAY 7 – DEVILDRIVER:

01. Pray For Villains (2009) – When Devildriver first came on the scene, they were looked at with unparalleled scepticism due to singer Dez Fafara’s history in the Nu Metal band Coal Chamber. Over the years with relentless touring, incendiary live performances at major festivals and sheer word of mouth, they worked their way up bills, up end of year albums lists and up in the public’s estimation to become a really well regarded act. This album was arguably their peek both in terms of public perception of the band as a whole and also in actual quality of the individual album. This has some of their most distinct and catchy tunes, and leans heavier on the Groove Metal aspect of their sound than any previous or subsequent album. Its still very much Devildriver but with extra flavour, its got kind of a more Pantera, Machine Head and at times even White Zombie vibe than their usual formula.

Best songs: ‘Back With A Vengeance,’ ‘I’ve Been Sober’ & ‘Another Night In London.’

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02. The Last Kind Words (2007) – The best album in the typical Devildriver format, this is simply the best written collection of songs in their usual style, less generic and repetitive than the later albums and more fully-fleshed out than the early works, it is a damn fine record and if you called it your favourite I’d fully understand why. The vocals are memorable, the heavy parts are pounding, and the rare clean moments are shimmering and add good variety to the proceedings. I reckon this would be the best starting point for a new fan, even if the next album is my personal favourite, it’s a close race, and this one is more representative of the band.

Best songs: ‘Clouds Over California,’ ‘The Axe Shall Fall’ & ‘Monsters Of The Deep.’

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03. The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hands (2005) – This album features some of the band’s live favourite songs, there were tracks that got good rotation on music TV channels, one of the songs was in an episode of Scrubs. Basically, this album is when the momentum really started rolling, when the music festival crowds fell in love with the band and their big pits, and when the critics started finding it harder to keep up their scepticism. It was the first album with the classic line up, as Mike Spreitzer replaced Evan Pitts. Although it doesn’t have any one song as catchy as ‘I Could Care Less’ from the debut, it makes up for it by being more consistent and having more of a cohesive vision all the way through.  

Best songs: ‘The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand,’ ‘Sin & Sacrifice’ & ‘Hold Back The Day.’

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04. DevilDriver (2003) – I remember before this album came out, Metal Hammer magazine said Dez was in a heavy new band called Death Ride. Then when the album came out it was called Devildriver. Seemed like a silly variation on the driving theme, but it turns out Devildriver was actually an old Italian superstition to drive away demons and bad spirits that Dez’s grandmother believed in, a story oddly reminiscent of how Dio popularized the horns.

When the album came out it was a breath of fresh air. There were two short super aggressive songs with slightly Black Metal influenced screams, there was the mega catchy lead single (although that is not really representative of the overall sound of the band or the album) and for most of the album, a whole host of fat and groovy modern metal songs with Melodeath, Groove and Thrash influences that at the time sounded quite futuristic when blended together.

I got on board with this album from the get go, but always had a hard time convincing people in my peer group to give them a chance due to Dez’s past. I’m glad the band proved everyone wrong in the end. Over the next two album cycles most of my friends ended up even bigger fans than me!

Best songs: ‘I Could Care Less,’ ‘Cry For Me Sky’ & ‘Swinging The Dead.’

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05. Beast (2011) – The last album with the classic line up, Beast is a fine album, but in some ways, it was the beginning of the end. It may not be quite up to the same high standards as the previous four albums. Every song is good here, and this is another solid collection of typical Devildriver tunes in the classic formula. If you like the band, it’s a good addition to your collection. I wouldn’t make it your first album, but if you like them I wouldn’t skip it either. It is however, a bit of a worry when the best song on any album is a cover song.

Best songs: ‘Shitlist,’ ‘Bring The Fight (To The Floor)’ & ‘Black Soul Choir.’

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06. Winter Kills (2013) – Their first and only album with new bassist Chris Towning, and the last album with Jeff Kendrick & John Boecklin who were really key to making the band sound the way it did. I always liked them both on record, and they seemed like good guys on the band’s You May Recognise Us From The Stage documentary.

It has quite a good cover of that ‘Sail’ song by a band called Awolnation, although I admit, I was so out of the loop at the time I didn’t hear the original until after I’d heard this. I wouldn’t have known it was a cover for at least a year if I hadn’t read about it on the press for this album cycle.

The rest of the album is ok. Its basically a continuation of Beast, but the songs aren’t just as memorable. There’s nothing wrong with the album in the moment when you are listening to it, but its kind of a step down in quality and it’s the first record I would describe as skippable.

Best songs: ‘Tripping Over Tombstones,’ ‘Winter Kills’ & ‘Gutted.’

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07. Trust No One (2016) – This album sees a major line up change, with new guitarist, bassist and drummer. It’s a bit livelier and more aggressive than Winter Kills, but similarly skippable. Maybe the new line up just needed time to gel, maybe the Coal Chamber reunion that preceded it somehow diverted attention, maybe the band has just been heading down one particular direction for too long, I don’t know exactly what it is.

While there is nothing massively wrong here, I can barely remember anything about it after I’ve listened to it, and I’d certainly call this one for fans only. Hopefully the next album (which is apparently a double album) sees the band reverse their current slightly downward trajectory.

Best songs: ‘For What Its Worth,’ ‘This Deception’ & ‘Trust No One.’

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