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.