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Album ReviewReviews

DevilDriver – Dealing With Demons Vol. II

DevilDriver fans know exactly what they want from an album, headbanging riffs with killer grooves that you can’t help but move to from first to last, and that’s exactly what Dez Fafara and the heavy groove lords of DevilDriver deliver with Dealing with Demons Vol. II. This marks the band’s 10th album in about 20 years, and for those of you who got into Volume I, be prepared for a harder hitting set this time around.

Straight out of the gates this album gives you that DevilDriver hit, I Have No Pity comes in hard with the groove orientated riffage over syncopated kicks, they know that’s one of their strong points, it’s one of the main reasons I love this band, it just drives the nail into the coffin and makes for a heavier track. The only thing I’ve ever had to say negatively about some of DevilDrivers tracks is that they can be so compressed in sound, that some of the riffs just have no room to breathe. I know that’s their sound and I still enjoy what they do but a couple of the tracks on here just reminded me of the way the modern metal sound is recorded and produced and I guess what I’m personally into.

Steve Evetts, who produced Dealing with Demons Vol I. and the Outlaws Til the End Vol. 1 albums is once again at the helm of this one, I mean, why would you change the goalie if he’s on fire right? The album production is very much the same as those albums but as I said at the start, these songs are written heavier than the previous album, but the mood is captured perfectly with songs like Bloodbath and Mantra. There is an element of southern style to a few of the riffs and melodies and I swear slide guitar, whether that’s been a thing since the Outlaws album, I’m not 100% sure but its wicked! The dual guitar work by Mike and Alex is incredible as always with their rhythm and lead work. Through the Depths, the first single off this album was a great choice, that chorus is catchy as hell and they released a film clip for it, Dez looks mad with white hair. My favourite off the album was a track called Bloodbath though. The riffs are dark and memorable, I couldn’t help but have this song on repeat. One of the other singles released was If Blood Is Life, and this track has that killer bouncy verse riff and big open sing along chorus that will definitely make the live setlist.

I feel with Dealing With Demons Vol. II, you aren’t necessarily getting something new per se, its more of what that do well, which is just going to add to their live element really. If you are a fan of Dez and the gents, then you know why you’re here and what you expect from a DevilDriver album. There are a few tracks that may convert some fresh minds to the cause but if you are expecting them to break their mold, then sorry. These tracks will convert to the live stage incredibly well and I’m excited to see which ones they choose to bring out, I honestly hope that Bloodbath makes the cut!

Dealing With Demons Vol. II was released on May 12 via Napalm Records, though you can order your copy today.

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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Travis Everett (Witchgrinder)

Mitch recently had a chat with Travis from Witchgrinder to talk about their upcoming Queensland show “OUR PARTY”

(MC) Long time no chat! The last time we caught up was Aftershock Festival in 2021. How has everyone been since then?

(TE) Since we came out of lockdown and things opened we have been really great. Just getting together to rehearse and go check out other bands and clubs. It’s just been awesome to hang out together again.

Has there been much live playing?

Yes, as soon as restrictions lifted we booked a couple of local Melbourne shows and one in Sydney. With it being a year since we had a played live show we booked these pretty quickly just to get out there and on a stage again. We missed it so much.

I did hear there was a mishap at the Evelyn show a while back?

Yes unfortunately our first show back in Melbourne we had to cut it short. We were about halfway into our set when we noticed something was not right in the mosh pit. One of our fans somehow managed to dislocate his knee while rocking out to the band.

The venue was so packed and short-staffed. There was no way to safely move him until the paramedics arrived so we had no choice but to finish up.

Care to share some background on the setting up of the next big thing, “Our Party” up in QLD?

Vamp Barbie (aka Vee) has been hard-working interviewing hundreds of bands for years. We first met her at a festival in Brisbane back in 2010. When she interviewed us and has continued to support us ever since. Vee and her team have now put all focus on their site/channel Vampedup.tv . and now are ready to move on to running festivals. This is the first festival they are putting together, so when we got the offer we were very excited to be a part of it. They have an awesome mixed bunch of bands on the bill it’s going to be so much fun. Vamped up festivals look like they are going to be an ongoing thing as they have also just announced a boat cruise festival next year.

Have you gigged with or do you know most of the bands on the line-up?

Yes, there are a few bands from Brisbane and a few from Sydney we have either toured with or played with while in their state. It’s going to be great to catch up. Also very excited to meet and play with the bands we haven’t.

Keen for anyone in particular?

Yes, heaps of bands. Very excited to see Dept. of Gloom as they have just dropped a new single. Our Last Enemy will be amazing as they have said they will be playing new music from their latest ep. There are heaps of bands we have never seen live so we will be making a huge effort to check out as much as we can on the day.

It’s been a little while between releases, are you guys working on any new material?

There are heaps of new material. Over the last few years, there has been so many setbacks that has made it impossible for us to finish writing and hit the studio. We have managed to get a few singles out but the big ones we have saved for the full album. We are just finishing up pre-production and are booking recording dates soon. We were never going to rush this. It has to be right for us and also our fans.

Is there somewhere or someone you would like to record with in the future?

We record a lot of our music with Chris Themelco at Monolith studios and also at our home studio setups. Adrian Windsor has always been a key part when recording keys and extra samples. They both have a great understanding of our sound. I think what we have at the moment is very special and captures what and where we are at at the moment.

I did have a chat with Peter Tägtgren when we toured with his band Pain a few years ago about possibly one-day recording together if we were ever to make it over to Sweden. That would be amazing.

The last thing released was the Through The Never cover, how was that received? Did you guys have fun recording that?

Yes, we released that as it was the 30th anniversary of Metallica's black album. A band that has continued to be a huge inspiration to us. We had so much fun recording it. The tracking was done mostly at home so we had the freedom to take our time with it. We added a bunch of ideas to give it that Witchgrinder feel without straying to much from the original. Which I think is why it worked so well. We received great feedback from both our fans and Metallica fans.

What are next year's plans for Witchgrinder?

Album release, Tours, and more! Don’t want to give too much away

If Witchgrinder was going on tour, what are the essentials?

A phone and charger! A few examples…

  • Using it as a distraction. On tour, you can be stuck in a van for hours and hours, and sometimes it’s good to have a break from talking to each other before you end up killing each other haha.
  • We all like to listen to different music. So good to plug into your phone and listen to what you want at times 
  • We can keep Witchgrinder's social media platforms up to date. Keep people in the loop. Posting photos and stories etc.
  • All the information about the tour is easy to access on your phone. Where to be and what times. Things like that.
  • It’s very important that we can always get in contact with each other. It can be easy to stray off at times. After parties can get pretty wild!

Our Party Festival is fast approaching! 😁🎉

July 30 at The Back Room Brisbane !

Huge Double Headliner! 🤘

Artists from VIC, NSW, & QLD! ⚡️Jelly Wrestling & Jelly Pit After party! ~ VIP tickets Limited & General tickets selling fast!
Doors open 11:45 am til 12am ~ Get your VIP & General tickets now!


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