Ah, DevilDriver. That ever-elusive genre mash of nu-metal, metalcore, and straight-up metal. By the sound of it, you would think it would be unique, right?
Well, you would be wrong. DEAD wrong.
Formed after vocalist Dez Fafara’s former band Coal Chamber broke up, DevilDriver, though signed to Roadrunner Records, fail to be mainstream. The instruments lack talent, with the exception of the drums. The vocals sound very multi-tracked, as if a simple grunt from Dez could sound like a Lord Worm or Glen Benton death roar. Cravinov13 described them as death metal, which they are most definitely not. There is not a blast-beat to be heard on this album. Unfortunately, the bass follows this trend of inaudibility. The vocals are clearly the focal point of the band, and, luckily, they are usually enjoyable and audible. So far, you might think that I hate this album wholeheartedly.
Again, you would be wrong.
Even without the technicality, the talent, or the originality, DevilDriver still manage to craft an enjoyable opus in The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand. The disc is definitely heavy, but sometimes sacrifices depth and texture for this token heaviness. It’s a one-trick pony for sure, but manages to pull off the formula of “single-note riff+ double bass+ heavy vocals+ heavy palm-muted riff= song" fairly well. I mean, the songs are really catchy, heavy and accessible but don’t fall under the “mainstream metal" category. There are no sung choruses, and one sung bridge (the title track) which I feel adds a little extra punch to the tracks.
Well, so far my review has two very different opinions going. One would give the CD about 56%, and the other at least an 80%. The latter seems more appropriate, but a little on the high side. I mean, knowing that formula, the songs have to get boring sometime, right? Absolutely. Tracks like “End of the Line," “The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand" and “Before the Hangman’s Noose" are all really good (but still follow the formula) whereas “Just Run" and “Sin & Sacrifice" are both unspeakably horrid. The former opens up with a positively awful “hook" and the latter is just plain boring the whole way through.
A massive irk for me is how the album’s quality depletes right after the first single, “Hold Back the Day". Following it is the second of the two “unspeakably horrid" tracks, then the typical “Ripped Apart." The second third of the album is most definitely is bad. Bad is the only way to describe it.
To be fair, the final two tracks (the best two on the album) really save it from descending to the bottom of my shelf and collecting dust for eternity. The title track is heavy, melancholy, and even somewhat complicated (w00t!) and the aforementioned “Before the Hangman’s Noose" has a sweet opening riff and groove to it. As I said before, these numbers save the album in a big way.
Alas, ‘tis indeed a pity that the entire album cannot follow the example set by the opening and closing tracks. The mediocre middle songs save this from getting a high score. That’s the bottom line.
(+)Good vocals and drums
(+)Inexplicably enjoyable; a guilty pleasure
Dez's voice is very good better. In fact, I can only think of a few who are at his level. The music, while simple, isn't as musically bland as Coal Chamber. His lyrics are quite poor, but they have definitely improved since his Chamber days. I have not heard the entire album, therefore I cannot rate it, but I imagine giving it a 3/5. Good review, Mazz.
Hey Jom, I created a new account called Banana Crew Enforcer...but it won't let me post! Evidently "my account has been disabled by the administrator." And when I try to on the forums, it says I am trying to view a restricted page. Help me out!
You do realise there technically is no such thing as 'stright-up metal'. Considering your example of mashing metalcore and Nu-Metal (Oh yeah... I can really see the rap influences there *rolls eyes*) They can't be 'straight-up' metal, cause when you look at it, everything is broken into subgenres of the overall term 'metal'.
Also, you do realise you contradicted yourself at least three times in this review?
You don't even know all the standards of Death, do you. I know I don't, but I do know that blast beats are not a fully required Death Metal trait. Also, you can't really seem to depict the music of the band very well (except the Metalcore part).
And Nu-Metal means New. Urban. Metal., meaning if it's not a rap/ funk influenced or related style of music, it's technically not Nu-Metal. Anothe rform of Nu-Metal is the more Hard Rock then metal music, like Staind and Seether.
You really are hopless aren't you? Simply hopless. Mudvayne's Lost And Found could fit in the Hard Rock aspect of Nu-Metal, their older stuff, particularly L.D. 50, is more Mathcore influenced then Nu-Metal.
And again, you are contradicting yourself. And growling vocals are a trait of almost all metal, although they are not a nessisary trait for all.
Rap acts in Korn are mainly seen in Follow The Leader, where they have Ice Cube, Fred Durst, and a guy from Phar Cyde. Also, they have a song with Nas in TALITM and a rap song with Chino of Deftones which is a remake of an Ice Cube song on LIP. Korn is the Funk Metal of Nu-Metal.
Lord Worm is not a good growler at all. His growls in Cryptopsy are friggin burps like some Grindcore bands and Chris Barnes (in Cannibal Corpse, not Six Feet Under).