DevilDriver has recently announced an upcoming addition to their not inconsiderable aural armory, scheduled to unleash their sonic force upon the Bloodstock Festival in August. The groove metal titans are preparing to release their tenth studio album, ‘Dealing with Demons Vol II,’ via Napalm Records on 12th May. This highly anticipated release follows the first installment of the Demons series, ‘Dealing with Demons Vol I.’
Audiences eagerly await this latest offering, which promises to be darker and heavier than its predecessor. To whet the appetite of their devoted fan base, DevilDriver has unveiled the music video for the album’s first single, ‘Through the Depths.’ This tantalizing glimpse into their forthcoming release has only served to heighten expectations and solidify the band’s reputation for constantly evolving and refining their sound.
Frontman Dez Fafara has shared insights into the meaning and message behind the first single, ‘Through the Depths,’ from their upcoming album, ‘Dealing with Demons Vol II.’ According to Fafara, the song revolves around a conversation between a higher power and humans, discussing the potency of manifesting ideas into reality while cautioning against arrogance in pursuing desires. The opening lines of the song illustrate this interaction: “Attention attention, you’re seeking, you’ve asked for, it’s given” (the higher power says).
The chorus, as explained by Fafara, represents the higher power admonishing humans not to blame the gods for their own failings: “Through the depths to the ascension, nothing you wouldn’t do for my attention, held to the fire it’s not my crime, you’ve pinned it on me for the last time.” This message emphasizes the importance of striving for goals while taking responsibility and maintaining accountability. ‘Through the Depths’ encapsulates the essence of ‘Dealing with Demons Vol. II,’ and the conversations within the album delve even deeper into these themes.
To fully appreciate DevilDriver’s impact on the heavy metal genre, it is essential to understand the broader context in which their music exists. Emerging in the early 2000s, DevilDriver joined a vibrant and diverse heavy metal landscape that had evolved from its 1980s heyday. Influenced by a range of subgenres such as groove metal, melodic death metal, and alternative metal, DevilDriver’s sound reflects a unique fusion of these styles.
DevilDriver emerged from the ashes of the band Coal Chamber, with frontman Dez Fafara seeking to explore a heavier musical direction. The band initially christened themselves Deathride before adopting the name DevilDriver, inspired by the Italian phrase “Il cacciatore di demoni” meaning “demon hunter.” Throughout its existence, DevilDriver has undergone multiple line-up changes, with Fafara remaining the unwavering constant.
Drawing inspiration from bands like Pantera, Lamb of God, and In Flames, DevilDriver has successfully incorporated aggressive grooves, melodic hooks, and intricate guitar work into their signature sound. Their music pays homage to the genre’s storied past while carving out a distinct niche for themselves in the heavy metal tapestry.
Musically, DevilDriver’s penchant for blending aggressive grooves with melodic hooks results in a dynamic and engaging listening experience. The band’s intricate guitar work, powerful percussion, and Fafara’s distinctive vocal style coalesce into a sound that is both brutal and nuanced. Analyzing their music from a technical perspective highlights the skill and artistry of each band member, as well as the cohesion that defines their sound.
The visual elements of DevilDriver’s art, such as their album covers and music videos, contribute to the band’s overall aesthetic and identity. These visual components often reflect the themes explored in their music, providing a cohesive and immersive experience for fans. For example, the striking imagery of their album covers often hints at the darkness and intensity contained within, while their music videos often convey powerful narratives that complement the song’s lyrics.
DevilDriver’s ideology is deeply rooted in the exploration of the human condition, delving into themes such as inner struggle, resilience, and personal growth. Their lyrics often reflect these themes, providing listeners with a cathartic and transformative experience. The band’s no-nonsense approach to their craft and unyielding work ethic has garnered them a loyal fan base that resonates with their powerful message.
A more in-depth examination of DevilDriver’s lyrics, music, and visual elements reveals the factors that contribute to their lasting appeal and artistic impact. The band’s lyrics often delve into themes related to the human condition, inner struggle, resilience, and personal growth. These themes resonate with a wide audience, as they touch on universal experiences and emotions. By dissecting their lyrics, one can uncover the layers of meaning and the raw, authentic expression that has captivated fans for nearly two decades.
DevilDriver’s self-titled debut album, released on October 28th, 2003, through Roadrunner Records, marks the band’s entrance into the heavy metal scene and sets the foundation for their unique sound. The record skillfully combines elements of groove metal, melodic death metal, and alternative metal, resulting in a distinctive sonic blend that immediately grabs the listener’s attention.
‘DevilDriver’ features a diverse array of songs that demonstrate the band’s versatility and potential. Opening with ‘Nothing’s Wrong?,’ the album wastes no time in establishing its aggressive tone. This song introduces the listener to frontman Dez Fafara’s powerful vocals, accompanied by relentless percussion and driving guitar riffs.
‘I Could Care Less’ is another standout track on the album, showcasing the band’s ability to create memorable hooks while maintaining an intense, heavy atmosphere. The song’s infectious chorus and dynamic rhythm make it a prime example of DevilDriver’s signature sound.
‘Die (And Die Now)’ and ‘Swinging the Dead’ exhibit the band’s penchant for intricate songwriting and unyielding aggression. Both tracks feature rapid-fire guitar work, punishing drums, and Fafara’s unmistakable growls, demonstrating the band’s commitment to delivering high-energy, brutal music.
‘The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand,’ released on June 28, 2005 through Roadrunner Records, is their sophomore effort that demonstrates the band’s growth and maturity. With more intricate songwriting and refined musicianship, ‘The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand’ solidifies DevilDriver’s status in the heavy metal scene. Highlights include the punishing ‘End of the Line’ and the anthemic ‘Hold Back the Day.’
‘The Last Kind Words,’ released on July 31st, 2007 through Roadrunner Records, is the third album from DevilDriver further refines their signature sound, balancing brutality with melody. Tracks like ‘Clouds Over California’ and ‘Not All Who Wander Are Lost’ exemplify the band’s ability to create memorable hooks without sacrificing intensity.
With their fourth release, ‘Pray for Villains,’ released on July 14th, 2009, through Roadrunner Records, showed DevilDriver venturing into more experimental territories. Incorporating diverse influences and a willingness to push boundaries, ‘Pray for Villains’ offers a fresh perspective on the band’s sound. Notable tracks such as ‘Fate Stepped In’ and ‘Resurrection Blvd.’ showcase the band’s ability to explore new sonic landscapes while remaining true to their heavy roots.
A return to their heavier origins, ‘Beast,’ released on February 22nd, 2011, through Roadrunner Records, highlights DevilDriver’s relentless aggression and technical prowess. Songs like ‘Dead to Rights’ and ‘Hardened’ reaffirm the band’s commitment to delivering high-impact, visceral music while displaying their proficiency as musicians.
‘Winter Kills,’ released on August 27th, 2013, this time through Napalm Records, sees DevilDriver navigating darker lyrical themes, with the music reflecting the chilling atmosphere suggested by its title. Standout tracks like ‘The Appetite’ and ‘Ruthless’ showcase the band’s ability to convey a sense of foreboding and introspection without sacrificing their signature intensity.
‘Trust No One’ was released on May 13th, 2016, through Napalm Records and featured a refreshed lineup. ‘Trust No One’ introduces new elements to the band’s sound while maintaining its core identity. Songs such as ‘Daybreak’ and ‘Testimony of Truth’ highlight the seamless integration of new members and the reinvigorated energy they bring to the band’s dynamic. The album successfully balances ferocious aggression with memorable melodies, proving that DevilDriver’s evolution is far from over.
‘Outlaws ‘til the End: Vol. 1,’ released on July 6th, 2018, through Napalm Records, is an unique project that sees DevilDriver reinterpreting classic outlaw country songs through their signature heavy metal lens. Collaborating with a variety of notable artists, ‘Outlaws ‘til the End: Vol. 1’ showcases the band’s versatility and respect for musical tradition. Standout tracks like ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ and ‘Whiskey River’ demonstrate the group’s ability to adapt their sound while paying homage to their country roots.
‘Dealing with Demons Vol. I,’ released through Napalm Records on October 2nd, 2020, was the first installment of a two-part series, this album delves into personal and introspective themes, exploring the darker aspects of the human experience. Songs like ‘Keep Away From Me’ and ‘Nest of Vipers’ encapsulate the introspective nature of the album while maintaining DevilDriver’s signature intensity. This release marks a new chapter in the band’s discography, showcasing their ability to tackle complex subject matter while evolving their sound.
As the forthcoming installment of the Demons series, ‘Dealing with Demons Vol. II’ is anticipated to be darker and heavier than its predecessor. The first single, ‘Through the Depths,’ offers a tantalizing glimpse into the album’s themes and sound, with DevilDriver delving deeper into the conversations initiated in Vol. I.
DevilDriver’s discography, spanning nearly two decades, demonstrates their unwavering commitment to innovation, growth, and artistry. With each release, the band has pushed the boundaries of their sound while staying true to their heavy metal roots. As they prepare to unleash ‘Dealing with Demons Vol. II’ upon the world, it is clear that DevilDriver’s impact on the heavy metal landscape will continue to resonate for years to come.
DevilDriver’s tenacity in exploring the complexities of the human experience, their relentless pursuit of musical innovation, and their ability to captivate audiences with powerful themes and messages have solidified their place in the annals of heavy metal history. As the band unveils new material from their upcoming album, ‘Dealing with Demons Vol II,’ fans and fellow musicians alike eagerly await the opportunity to delve deeper into the thought-provoking conversations the album promises to deliver.
DevilDriver remains an unstoppable force in the heavy metal landscape as they prepare to take the stage at Bloodstock Festival, armed with fresh material from ‘Dealing with Demons Vol II,’ it is clear that DevilDriver’s influence and legacy will endure for years to come.