Review Summary: What do you get when you form a supergroup of renown Metalcore musicians? Apparently a decent album which also lacks major potential
Nuclear Blast seems to be hosting a party of metal supergroups in 2014. As we've seen in the past, supergroups are hit or miss, more often falling into the latter. Devil You Know falls right in-between the two on their debut album, "The Beauty of Destruction."
It was great news for many when word spread Howard Jones would be returning to the music scene with a new band featuring John Sankey on drums (Divine Heresy, Devolved, etc.) and Francesco Artusato of All Shall Perish on guitar. Followers soon found the band streaming on demo version of "Shut it Down," and immediately expectations were high, and many people were on the edge of their seats, looking forward to hear what would come. Would it surpass expectations? Would it be just awful? Or would it be a predictable effort?
When singles "Seven Years Alone" and "A New Beginning" surfaced, those questions were answered bluntly... Yes.
Knowing the where each of the band members have been, and within the genre (metalcore) itself, rarely does the album stray away from a single, immobile comfort zone. Be it the screamed verses and clean choruses of Jones (clean vocals are extremely overproduced on this album... Then again, it's to be expected from Nuclear Blast to be set on overproducing.), the machine gun-like drums of Sankey, or the low tuned also machine gun-like riffs of Artusato.
And that's exactly where "The Beauty of Destruction" suffers. The failure of wanting to break from a comfort zone makes almost the entire album blend together. Upon this, songs seem to lead towards one or two band(s)'s influence(s) (mainly KSE and Sankey's various projects), rather than taking some of each and combining it into one, unique sound. Take both of these factors, and you're left with a lack of potential.
This doesn't mean the album is terrible by any means, as there are still positives to combat the negatives. While still pondering which band will influence which songs more, Devil You Know seems to work as a tightly knitted group very well.
Howard Jones also has improved since we last heard him on a full album (2009's KSE II), regaining some of the force in his voice that we heard when he first joined KSE, and Blood Has Been Shed.
The songs themselves meander back and forth, and in and out of the questions posed earlier. We hear predictability used negatively (A New Beginning and Seven Years Alone for example), predictability used positively (A Mind Insane, Embracing the Torture and Shut it Down), passable tracks (It's Over, My Own and Crawl From the Dark being the least interesting ones here), and the ones that shine above the rest (For the Dead and Broken, I Am the Nothing, and As Bright As the Darkness).
"The Beauty of Destruction" showcases what many debuts are in this age of music: a solid effort that still could have some of its dents hammered out. Hopefully in the future we will see more potential put to use rather than the plodding back and forth in the comfort zone we saw here.
Album Streaming Here: http://www.metalinjection.net/av/full-album-stream/devil-you-knows-new-album-the-beauty-of-destruction-streaming-in-full