Devildriver - Trust No One

Devildriver - Trust No One

(CD/LP, Napalm Records, 2016)

The news about the three members leaving DEVILDRIVER, combined with the reactivation of COAL CHAMBER, made me think that the end of the Californian Groove Metal band was really imminent. Fortunately, Dez Fafara and Mike Spreitzer did not consider quitting, but instead forged ahead, enlisted new musicians and then got in the studio with “Trust No One” being the result. “Did DEVILDRIVER change their sound?” or “what was the impact of these lineup changes?” are the logical questions one can make in anticipation of the new LP.

The MACHINE HEAD-type guitar lead and the double-bass drum driven groove are enough to blow away all the questions / doubts and state that DEVILDRIVER are still on the path they introduced with albums like “The Last Kind Words” and the awesome “Pray For Villains”. Yeah, I consider “Beast” as a weak moment and possibly an early indication that a big shock was needed to get DEVILDRIVER back on track. Sure, “Winter Kills” was great but still there was something else I was graving for. And that was the massive grooves, the melodic guitar leads and on top of everything Dez’s pissed-off and at the same multi-character singing that is shining in this LP. The way he is nailing the lyrics like he’s making a discussion with himself (I don’t have a better way to describe this) is trademark for this band and if you fail to see my point just by reading, then crank up the volume during “Bab Deeds”. You can feel / hear the refreshed songwriting in “This Deception” where aside from Dez’s preaching you’ll find some awesome guitar leads that showcase the DEVILDRIVER aggression and melody mix in all its grandeur. The chorus will immediately stick to mind and soon enough you’ll be growling “bleed, bleed, bleed by example” with the appropriate in-your-face attitude. This one quickly became my album favorite and it breathes the same air with “The Last Kind Words”. The headbanging groove gets into the spotlight during “Daybreak” (that double-bass drumming again) even though it is the guitar solo that eventually grabs the listener’s attention. Speaking of the guitar leads brace yourself for the album’s title track and the rhythm section explosion that comes after the yet another guitar-based calm intro. You see, calm does come before the storm and here it listens to the name of Dez who delivers some powerful lyrics that are bound to make you sing along. One of the weak points in the previous DEVILDRIVER albums was the mix / sound production that came out too compressed. This one sounds more ‘natural’ (especially the drums) and I think the icing on the cake is the bass lines in “Retribution” that give an extra oomph in the song’s overall energy and attitude.

“Trust No One” is a solid piece of evidence that DEVILDRIVER have all the cylinders firing and really the lineup changes seem to have not affected the songwriting at all. In fact, I see some elements that were missing in the last two LPs. Now that DEVILDRIVER passed the studio test, it’s about time to see how they are doing onstage.

P.S.: The album’s cover artwork could have been far better because this one looks like a product for some poor photo-editing job.

“I wake up every night
scared I’m born to lose this fight
don’t cry, dry your eyes
hold your tears
It’s no more fears”

8/10


Links:

www.Devildriver.Com
www.Facebook.Com/Devildriver
www.Twitter.Com/Devildriver


Tracklist:

01. Testimony Of Truth
02. Bad Deeds
03. My Night Sky
04. This Deception
05. Above It All
06. Daybreak
07. Trust No One
08. Feeling Ungodly
09. Retribution
10. For What It's Worth


Lineup:

Dez Fafara - Vocals
Mike Spreitzer - Guitar
Austin D'Amond - Drums
Neal Tiemann - Guitar
Diego Ibarra - Bass