[ALBUM REVIEW] DevilDriver – Outlaws ‘Til The End


Country Heroes
Whiskey River
Outlaw Man
Ghost Riders In The Sky
I’m the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)
If Drinking Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)
The Man Comes Around
A Thousand Miles From Nowhere
Copperhead Road
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
A Country Boy Can Survive
The Ride

Reviewed by Midnite Mitch

All bands love to cover their favourite songs, whether they admit it or not, just some release the recordings. Metallica did Garage Inc, Children of Bodom have Skeletons in the Closet and now DevilDriver are about to add Outlaws ’til the End, Vol 1. to the mix. This is a DevilDriver and pals effort and they have come up with a set of covers that have been beefed up with a few extra kicks here and there for some added spice.

Outlaw Country music gone heavy is what we are dealing with here, and damn do they make it work. Most metalheads would not think of the two polar opposite genres to come together but DevilDriver has chosen a wicked set of songs to blend their heavy grooves with. Before hearing of this, I had never thought that Outlaw country was a thing, like anyone else that isn’t into metal and knowing of the ridiculous amount of sub-genres we have, Country music would have its own subgenres too.

Lyrically this album is as metal as they come, life on the road, booze, Death, drinking your problems away and also some more booze. As I mentioned earlier, Devildriver has some amazing friends joining in their outlaw debauchery. Randy Blythe and Mark Morton from Lamb of God, Wednesday 13, Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, Lee Ving from Fear, Hank Williams III, Brock Lindow from 36 Crazyfists and also John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash‘s son! It’s quite a feat getting all of these guys in to be able to record for the tracks, I can’t imagine that was easy, I struggle to organise things and my friends and I don’t have very much going on.

The choice of songs for this album are probably the better songs to convince metalheads to listen to something remotely country style, if the fan is like me and likes to do a little bit of research on the origins of cover songs. DevilDriver do well to add their own flair to the tracks and still keeping the original song intact. Heavy as any original Devildriver track but with the additional vocalists it’s just something else. It adds an aggression that was there in the lyrics of the originals but wasn’t represented in the music. I listened to some of the original tracks and the music just doesn’t have that aggression or darkness that the lyrics do, they definitely set a mood, which is why they were written but the new heaviness brings out the ugliness of it.

The only songs I knew while looking at the track list were Ghost Riders in the Sky and Copperhead Road, most people would know those songs I’d imagine, just from hanging out in pubs at least. After listening through the album, I found that Country Heroes was becoming a favourite track. It has Hank Williams III guesting on it and the contrasting vocal styles really set the tone for the rest of the album. Lyrically it’s about getting wasted with all the Country Greats, and that is the whole reason we’re here. A complete opposite from the original was Whiskey River, written by Willie Nelson, I had a listen to the original and that was a little too country for me but after listening to Randy Blythe scream the opening line of “Whiskey River, take my mind” I went and opened up a bottle and started drinking.

Outlaws ‘til the End Vol .1 sounds like it was a lot of fun to make, I mean who wouldn’t like hanging out with friends and some of your heroes to record and create your own versions of songs you love. This endeavor may not win over new fans or convince old fans to go Country but it may just inspire some fans to have a look what’s outside their usual musical square and try something new.