Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS
Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Album review: DevilDriver, "Beast"

By Allison Stewart

devildriverMetal band DevilDriver has traded in groove for power. (Courtesy of the band)

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based DevilDriver used to be a reliable purveyor of groove metal, the heavy metal subset that stitches hard rock riffs to funk or dance beats. But its latest disc, "Beast," a thunder-bringing, knuckle-dragging, 10-car pileup of an album, pummels more than it grooves.

DevilDriver is fronted by Dez Fafara, whose days leading the late, unlamented nu-metal band Coal Chamber have caused metal purists to suspect that DevilDriver is insufficiently aggro at heart - a notion "Beast" blasts to smithereens in its first five minutes.

Every track on "Beast" (which is being sold as either a stand-alone disc or a CD/DVD bundle featuring music videos and documentary footage) is a roundhouse punch, though not every punch connects. For every track like the defiantly terrible thrasher "The Blame Game," there's a sweatily great organ-liquefier like "Blur" ("I don't know you but I . . . hate you"); good and terrible tracks sometimes are separated by only the slightest of margins.

"Beast" is death metal done well, if not always spectacularly. The only evidence that DevilDriver is trying to break out of the middle of the pack: a cover version of '90s Americana outfit 16 Horsepower's "Black Soul Choir," which replaces the original's spectral acoustic howl with a nuclear blast of riffage. The song's themes of biblical retribution and souls lost to darkness ("Every man is evil, yes/Every man's a liar") dovetail so perfectly with the interests of the average metal band, it's a wonder none of them thought to cover it before.

Recommended tracks: "Black Soul Choir," "Dead to Rights"

By Allison Stewart  | February 22, 2011; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags:  DevilDriver  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Singles file: Radiohead, Hayes Carll, Cee-Lo Green
Next: Album review: Toro y Moi, "Underneath the Pine"

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company