Review Summary: This is how modern metal should always be done
I will start my introduction to DevilDriver (and this album) with a quick overview: Coal Chamber lead-man Dez Fafara became fed up with CC, partially because of the conflicts inside the band, and partially because he wanted to engage in a band that would play a rougher style than Coal Chamber did. With tensions rising and relationships getting rougher and rougher day by day, Coal Chamber finally decided to call it quits in 2003. Shortly after Coal Chamber disbanded, Dez founded DevilDriver - a very heavy groove metal band. 4 albums through, Dez's decision has definitely proven to be a right one, as DevilDriver is something Coal Chamber never could have been. DevilDriver's music is fast, aggressive, technical, well-composed, and gripping. Now, I must admit that I haven't had the pleasure to listen to their debut yet, but all of their other albums (The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand; The Last Kind Words; Pray For Villains) have been nothing short of superb.
The Last Kind Words, DevilDriver's 2007 effort, is possibly the bands best record to date. It might not have that sinister vibe its predecessor, The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand, had, but that doesn't really matter, as The Last Kind Words incorporates everything that is good about DevilDriver. Very aggressive, even brutal, and at the same time technical guitar work, well-executed raspy vocals, gripping songs, and powerful drumming that keeps everything intact perfectly. Most notable of all though is the lead guitar work. From technically twisted bridges and fiercely shredded solos to chugging low sections, the lead guitar attack never stops and keeps things relentless till the final song, "The Axe Shall Fall". What's even more notable is, that it never becomes pretentious or overdone; on the contrary, it all sounds perfectly natural. And when Jeff Kendrick jumps in to counter Mike Spreitzer's lead guitar work with his groove injected chuggy riffs that are complimented by low-tuned, but firmly sounding bass licks, it's all pure ear orgasm.
What's even better, this album doesn't have a single weak song. Sure there are standouts, like the first single off this, titled "Clouds Over California", that has a great balance of brutality and catchiness, or "The Axe Shall Fall", which has many many different, diverse riffs throughout its runtime and ends in an almost jazzy manner, featuring only soft bass/snare drum hits, fading cymbal licks and distorted, foggy guitar-lines. But all in all, there isn't a single bad song on this album. The energy is relentless, the speed is always there, the riffs are always chugging in just the right manner, the drums are always pounding, and Dez is always screaming over, what could be called, an amazing pile of chaos.
So what is left to say about this record other than the fact it is modern metal done right? Not much in truth. The Last Kind Words is a heavy, even brutal modern metal record, and it is very hard to find a better album just to rock out to. Many sections that warrant headbanging, songs that just beg the listener to jump the *** up, mosh-worthy chugging, and all in all this record is great for thrashing out. I believe it's adequate to end this review now and I have only one message left. Dear readers, get the album, and GO FORTH AND HEADBANG.