DevilDriver
Beast


3.5
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
February 26th, 2011 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A beastly record that features moments of brilliance, but is also somewhat inconsistent

Pray For Villains was a great album. With that out of the way, it didn’t have much on the two albums that preceded it. Despite being consistently consistent - something DevilDriver in general are well known for - , the album featured some of the most conventional material the band has put out, songwriting wise (with a few exceptions). That wasn’t necessarily bad because Pray For Villains still sounded like the DevilDriver we know and love, but it felt like the band was holding back at various points. It seems the band members themselves were also aware of this, because Beast is the opposite to Pray For Villains.

When Pray For Villains sounded more clean, more polished than any DevilDriver record ever had before, Beast brings back the sinister vibe of the band’s sophomore record, The Fury of Our Maker's Hand. Now, I personally take The Last Kind Words, the band’s third studio outing, as my favourite DevilDriver record, but one thing that it lacks is that sinister vibe that made Fury as great as it is. From a musical standpoint, The Last Kind Words is clearly superior, featuring more technical guitar- and drumwork, smoother transitions, splendid guitar leads and the best songwriting the band has so far shown, but, until Beast, I still missed that dark vibe I got from Fury. Now, in 2011, Beast tries to tie together the band’s work so far. Production wise it is DevilDriver’s best album by far, as it’s sinister, heavy, meaty, the whole shebang, while also being the band’s most technical album, often featuring brisk, creative drum fills by Boecklin (as has become the standard for DevilDriver) and multidimensional guitar work. But where Beast doesn’t do that well is in the consistency department.

Although Beast is DevilDriver's heaviest, meanest, best-toned album to date, just like the band promised it'll be, it harkens back to the band’s inconsistent debut in that exact sense: it is the first DevilDriver record since the self-titled one to be inconsistent. In the right corner we have the blistering "Dead To Rights", the groovy "Hardened", the wah-tastic "Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)", the energetic "Black Soul Choir", the technical "Crowns of Creation", the Fury-esque "Coldblooded" and finally, "***list" - a song that features all the good qualities, like technicality, speed, groove and ferociousness, that DevilDriver posess. And in the wrong corner we have the aimless "Bring The Fight (To The Floor)", the uncreative "You Make Me Sick", the juvenile "Blur" and the repetitive "The Blame Game". The album is closed by "Lend Myself To The Night" – a cut that doesn't fit in neither corner, being just a standard DevilDriver song that is not bad, but nothing spectacular either.

Although the good songs do outweigh the dull cuts, it’s still disheartening to know that there are any unremarkable tracks on this album at all. As far as production, overall sound and experience go, DevilDriver had the possibility to make their best cd yet. Alas, they came out with an album that features some brilliant cuts (the best three being "***list", "Hardened" and "Dead To Rights"), but is inconsistent enough to be merely great (yes, merely, because DevilDriver can do even better, as they have already shown in the past). For the fans of the band it is another great pick up for sure, but for the casual listener it might be just another DevilDriver record.

If DevilDriver managed to mix together all the good elements from their various albums (attitude of Fury, songwriting of The Last Kind Words, the mature feel of Pray For Villains and the brute force of Beast), they could create an album that would be an indisputable groove metal staple. Until then though, let’s forget all about the would be’s and could be’s, and enjoy Beast for what it is - a great sounding, if somewhat inconsistent metal album that packs a serious punch.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
February 26th 2011


12885 Comments


Good review Metals, as always! Pos. Btw, I have 85 reviews haha.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2011


8558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I noticed, although with your current 1 review per day ratio, I can't say I'm surprised haha. And thanks bro.

ZomarK
February 26th 2011


50 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review! I'm still on the fence about this though...I really like Last Kind Words, Fury is good, and I actually don't mind Villains. But this doesnt give me the WOW factor the others did. Dead to Rights is great, and i like Hardened, but thats almost it

Tyrael
February 26th 2011


21005 Comments


Cool review dude.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2011


8558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys. I like the album overall, but I just become so frustrated when something so badass as "Shitlist" pops up and I'm totally stoked, but then something as blase as "The Blame Game" comes along and totally ruins the flow.

Crysis
Emeritus
February 26th 2011


17089 Comments


Excellent review man. I've heard a few albums by this band and it always seems that I enjoy a couple songs but find the remainder boring, so I'll probably pass on this one. Pos.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2011


8558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Crysis. Yeah, I'm not too sure you'd like this in full length, but feel free to check out the three best tracks I recommended.

Crysis
Emeritus
February 26th 2011


17089 Comments


Will do, right after I listen to Woods Of Desolation's new one haha.

Nagrarok
February 26th 2011


8526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent read as always Magnus, you're always putting in the effort (I myself have been too busy lately to commit to longer reviews, haha, I forgive you for bumping mine down). I'm not familiar with the band, seen their name pop up here a few times, but I might actually look into this.





Acanthus
February 26th 2011


9808 Comments


I enjoyed some tracks off of their other albums, if this is darker toned I'll have to give the recommended tracks a listen.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2011


8558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Smooth transition Nag ;). But anyway, you could give this a go. Will you like it? I have absolutely no idea. Is there a chance? Yes, there is.



@Acanthus

You should definitely give them a shot if you've enjoyed material from DevilDriver before.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2011


8558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well you can relax beforehand, because it ain't.

cvlts
February 26th 2011


9315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you could probably copy/paste this review for practically all of DevilDrivers albums. consistent as hell band.

FenixZero
February 26th 2011


396 Comments


I'll probably pass on this.

Defeater
February 26th 2011


5782 Comments


I heard "Blur" on the radio, it was decent. I won't be listening to the rest.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2011


8558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just throwing it out here that "Blur" is one of the weakest songs on here.

cvlts
February 26th 2011


9315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pray for villains was a 3.5

Defeater
February 26th 2011


5782 Comments


I don't listen to metalcore anymore.

BassDemon333
February 26th 2011


3434 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Great review styles, I more or less agree with your views on this. I love the first half of the album too, some of the tracks in the second half are really repetitive. Hardened and Shitlist are my favorites.

Darkvoid67
February 27th 2011


383 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I listened to Shitlist and it was one hell of a track. Great read as always Styles, easily the best for the album so far. It may be inconsistent but hell I'll pick it up



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