Winter Kills' has been out a short while and seems to have had mixed reviews, having given the album a fair go still I am not totally sold on it. DevilDriver are – John Boecklin (drums), Mike Spreitzer (guitar), Jeff Kendrick (guitar) and new boy Chris Towning (bass) and of course Dez Fafara.
The former Coal Chamber vocalist is on stunning form, 'Winter Kills' is filled with groove orientated riffs, it is at times melodic, with heavy and destructive drumming from Boecklins drums. Vocalist Dez Fafara strips the walls with his screams of guttural venom; the album is relentless full on metal to the core. 'Oath of The Abyss' is a bruising opener and promises great things, it spits fire and scythes into the room with blades of steel and head caving ferocity.
'Ruthless' does what it says on the tin, it's vicious, acidic and the air is turned a sulphuric yellow with Fafara spitting bile that could have come from Lucifer’s lungs. 'Desperate Times' is powerful and akin to a severe beating round the head with a breeze block, a mosh-pit exploding song if I ever heard one. Like I said at the start of the review it’s taken me a while to fully get into this latest offering, but I find the title track 'Winter Kills' absorbing, groove metal, very hypnotic, ok it is not the heaviest but there’s something about it.
'The Appetite' opens with a instrumental then a roar from the pits of damnation erupts from Dez Farara, it's nearly five minutes of stomach churning groove induced metal with superb dual guitar soloing as we come to the finale. 'Gutted' is simply, savage and wild. 'Curses and Epitaphs' opens slowly and lulls you into a false sense of security the album slows down a tad, time to rest your neck after the previous track? but NO!! It’s slamming and the drums are annihilated with ferocious abandonment.
'Caring’s Overkill' has some mean solos but is my least favourite track here. 'Haunting Refrain' is a fast, intense number and is a fierce tune to bang your head to straining every muscle in your neck. 'Tripping Over Tombstones' hammers you into submission it's vicious and ends with Dez screaming “fucking farewell!” So to the final track of the album, we’re treated to an amazing metal rendition of AWOLNATION’s triple platinum certified song 'Sail'. It’s different and totally unexpected but kind of works.
'Winter Kills' is a really good album and won’t disappoint DevilDriver fans.
If you are still on the fence about this band, I would direct you to this album but check out their earlier albums such as 'Beast' and the band’s debut offering, then catch them live, before you make your mind up.
Review by: Seb Di Gatto
1. The Oath
3. Desperate Times
4. Winter Kills
5. The Appetite
7. Curses And Epitaph's
8. Caring's Overkill
9. Hunting Refrain
10. Tripping Over Tombstones