DEVILDRIVER are one of those bands that are among an elite few of the more popular side of the spectrum of heavy metal. The Californian shredders have become a staple in the modern metal climate throughout the 21st Century and whilst latter records have been somewhat sub-par in quality, the DEVILDRIVER name has always remained strong. Three years have passed since Winter Kills and album number seven, Trust No One, is finally here. Frontman Dez Fafara recently revealed to Distorted Sound that the band’s energy is at an all time high but does the record live up to Fafara‘s bold claims?
From the instant intricate riffing of opener Testimony of Truth, you get the feeling that Trust No One is going to be a whirlwind listening experience. A sustained opening sequence features almighty blasts from the drums and intricate guitar play before Dez Fafara unleashes his trademark snarls. A fine start. From there, things only increase in intensity. Bad Deeds ebbs and flows with a hard hitting chorus and My Night Sky is an absolute monster of a track; Mike Spreitzer and new recruit Neal Tiemann combine incredibly well to provide riffs that are absolutely destructive. It feels like the DEVILDRIVER of old, utterly chaotic and laced with groove to whip up a storm.
Largely, this massive energy that is experienced throughout the course of Trust No One is the result of the new personnel to the band. Austin D’Amond‘s work on the drums replicates a machine gun in full force, triggering blasts at every opportunity and channelling the rhythm and Neal Tiemann‘s guitar play is as technical as it is destructive. Testament to Tiemann‘s ability is the combination with Mike Spreitzer to truly enforce the power and groove that is crucial to DEVILDRIVER‘s sound, most evident on This Deception, the riffs ebbs and flows with fine pace whilst allowing enough lead play to captivate the listener.
With D’Amond and Tiemann excelling in their duties this new energy that Fafara himself claimed reigns true. You really get the feeling that DEVILDRIVER are experiencing a new lease of life with Trust No One. Mike Spreitzer‘s trademark riffing is back to it’s best here with the title track showcasing some of slick guitar play that is both intricate and ferocious. The main man, Dez Fafara‘s vocal deliveries are possibly the strongest seen to date with snarls, roars and growls executed to venomous levels. The tempo in Fafara‘s vocals have been raised and he effortlessly spits his lyrics with absolute ease. The lyrical content only reinforces the sheer aggression that Trust No One contains, there is a feeling of truth behind the messages contained across the record, both a reflection of Fafara‘s experiences and to the listener themselves, with closer For What It’s Worth being a poignant love song that explores new ground without breaking the mould. It’s a rare trait to achieve with music and DEVILDRIVER have really honoured their craft with Trust No One.
In reflection, there is hardly a dull moment with Trust No One. From start to finish, the band firmly curb stomp their sound through a master class of groove-laced and relentless heavy metal. There isn’t a lot of experimentation in terms of new techniques or innovative sounds but this is a record that perfectly reflects what DEVILDRIVER is all about. It’s fast, jam-packed with groove and utterly merciless in it’s delivery. Fans of the band will not be disappointed with Trust No One and this is a record that the band can truly be proud of.
Trust No One is set for release on May 13th via Napalm Records.
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