Review Summary: 'Device' is a solid sounding album with a great structure and some long awaited collaborations; fans of Disturbed should definitely enjoy this.
While the highly successful metal band, Disturbed, has been put on hiatus, vocalist David Draiman decided that he would start a side project in a slightly different direction sound-wise titled simply; Device. Noting the success of the aforementioned band, Device naturally carried with it some not unreasonable expectations to live up to something resembling Distubed's success. The question then becomes, has it? A better question might be, could it?
The first tentative beginnings for Device's inception initially started after David was asked by former Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo to create a song for the fourth Underworld movie. For whatever legal reasons, this song (Hunted) was never included in the movie or it's soundtrack, but has found it's way onto the debut album.
Device contains some very different elements from those Disturbed, the most noticeable being the inclusion of a variety of electronic effects, however, it was made very clear that it would not contain any dubstep, and this has remained true. David definitely brings the voice, that helped propel Disturbed, to the new game and doesn't hold back. Some fans may be a little disappointed by his (almost) complete lack of strange noises that have become his signature. Perhaps 'Out of Line' contains the most vocal effects by David.
The opening track, 'You Think You Know' is a great way to introduce 'Device' to the listener. It contains a variety of electronic sounds, the unmistakable vocals of David and some great guitar work by Geno. It is one of the strongest tracks on the album. One of the most positive points this track holds is that it stands strong, even without the inclusion of any guest appearances, but I'll get to that later.
Continuing on from my last comment, another solid track from the album is Vilify, the first and only single released from the album. Vilify has some hard hitting lyrics and a catchy chorus with heavy guitar work in the background as well as that new found electronics. All in all, a great choice for first single.
There are some softer songs on this album though, most noteably are 'Through it All' featuring Glenn Hughes, and 'Close My Eyes Forever' featuring Lzzy Hale which is also the only cover song on this album. Both of these tracks are a refreshing change from the rest of the album, not to say that the other songs are the all same, but they mostly continue the heavy, industrial assualt. 'Through it All' is a nice way to end the album on a slightly softer note.
You may have noticed that there are a LOT of guests on this album, an album that is just 10 tracks and 41 minutes long. That would be one of my few problems with this album. There is an extraordinary abundance of collaborations and guest stars for a debut album and although this was rationalised, being Davids first opportunity to work with these artists on an album (since Disturbed's album's are devoid of guests) I feel that it doesn't build up Device enough for it to stand on it's own and gives off the feeling that maybe they are relying on these guests to improve the album. But what great guests they have, from Tom Morello to Geezer Butler on bass for 'You Think You Know' (another excellent track on this album), David definitely didn't waste time getting some big names to perform with him. Whilst the songs all sound great, and the 41 minutes passes with a feeling that it's gone too fast, my statement remains that there are too many guests for a debut.
Lyrically, this album is exceptional, with David Draiman being a very intelligent writer, as showcased in Disturbed, and bringing this talent to Device does not disappoint. The content varies from love, to war, to the feeling of preforming live, to hate, there is a lot of variety which is commendable, and the guests do keep things fresh.
Therefore, the tracks that I recommend are;
*You Think You Know
*Out of Line
*Through It All
Buy this album for it’s great (while numerous) collaborations and it’s variety in sound and style.