Holy sh**! Title of this third Devil Driver CD should have been ‘Kiss Your Lilly White *ss Goodbye’. Didn’t realize at first that when I saw DD open for Dimmu Borgir a year ago that this was the band that featured former Coal Chamber frontman Dez Fafara. I mean, this disc is freaking H-E-A-V-Y! Know what I’m saying? Tracks that’s sure to rob of your hearing possibly for the next day or two are “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”, the in-your-face “Horn Of Betrayal”, “Burning Sermon” and “Tirades Of Truth”. Just caught Devil Driver touring the club circuit on their current U.S. trek and I would highly recommend their live show to any fan of 100% pure metal. Fans of Daath, Lamb Of God, Children Of Bodom, Otep and the previously mentioned Dimmu Borgir should undoubtedly get plenty from ‘Last Kind Words’. A must-have.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
To say that Dez Fafara has come a long ways since debuting with his first band (ill-fated nu-metal act Coal Chamber) would be a vast understatement. It’s hard to believe that just ten years ago, Dez Fafara was shamelessly spouting ridiculous dribble (like repeating “me so loco” again and again) over moronically simplistic, Korn-copped riffs. But now, a short decade later, Dez is all growed up, and is in a second band, Devildriver, who have released an unbelievably brutal album which officially shuts the doors on his amateurish nu-metal roots forever. That album is this year’s “The Last Kind Words.” This is, without question, Devildriver’s strongest, meanest and most realized and energetic release yet, and it is also the best piece of music Mr. Fafara has ever attached his name to.
Neither Dez nor his band have ever sounded hungrier than they do now. “TLKW” has a wonderful, raw urgency to it, as if the band recorded the whole thing at gunpoint. But that doesn’t mean Devildriver didn’t still have a lot of fun making this record. They clearly delight in tearing the listener’s head off with an uncompromising avalanche of great, fiery riffs, busy, nimble-fingered leads, deft, pummeling blast beats, and visceral, raging vocals.
Everybody is at the top of his game here. The musicianship is impeccable and almost impossibly tight. Axemen Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick are particularly awesome – not only are their riffs and leads highly technical, but they have learned how to solo, too! Quite a few lengthy, tastefully clean solos are sprinkled on throughout these eleven cuts, thus giving some melody and harmony to the otherwise chaotic musical arrangements. Jason Suecof is also worthy of special mention for turning in an excellent production job (probably the best and clearest of his career thus far.) As a result, the listener can hear and absorb every second of the onslaught — including guitar feedback and crashing high hats — very well.
From front to back, the album never loses any steam — the intensity level stays in the red for the duration. Plus, these eleven tracks never lose their focus, either, so the album is very consistent. And as a triple threat, it’s super catchy, too! Devildriver never forsake catchiness; no matter how heavy or intense a song gets, they always remember to slip in a bunch of memorable hooks and infectious grooves. A case in point is the driving, breakneck set opener, “Not All Who Wonder All Lost,” which boasts a deep, Pantera or Lamb of God-worthy groove tattooed with rapid-fire drums. Two very tasty, ripping, and melodic solos also crop up here. Elsewhere, “Bound By The Moon” and “When Summoned” (to name just a couple) are other prime cuts of riff-choked, face-ripping thrash; and Dez’s livid, maniacal lyrics and vicious, venomous bellows on “Horn Of Betrayal” will make you think the flesh is being torn off your bones.
But it isn’t all the same song, because there’s plenty of dynamic to be heard, as well. For example, take “Clouds Over California” and “These Fighting Words”: both break up the monotony and give the listener a little room to breathe with slow, mounting energy build-ups. But give it only about half a minute and both of the songs are waist deep in full-on, foaming-at-the-mouth thrash — the former with pounding, jackhammering blasts, and the latter with excellent, blistering riffage. “Tirades Of Truth” is the only entirely mid-tempo song, and even it has a great, palpable tension and bristles with crunchy guitars and catchy, moshable choruses.
Devildriver aren’t set out to reinvent the wheel or disprove anybody who says they’re one-dimensional, but those things are almost effortlessly easy to overlook when the album is, overall, this satisfying, contagious, exhilarating, and addictive. “The Last Kind Words” delivers the goods, plain and simple. Who knew that having your butt kicked could be such a blast?!
Well, i must say i cheated on this one and bought it on import 3 weeks ago. Why the labels release a cd in the UK a month earlier is beyond me. Especially when trying to combat piracy.. Makes no sense.
Anyway, i thought they would have a tough time following up ‘Fury’ and i was right! But they succeed in making this CD just as good. What is best about this disc is the furious drumming. Excellent!
The songs are reminiscent of ‘Fury’ but not a repeat. The awesome ‘Clouds over Calif’ is great and the track that follows ‘Bound by the Moon’ is SLAMMIN! will be a pit fav.
‘Burning Sermon’ and ‘Tirades of Truth’ are smokin as well.! As a whole this CD holds up well. The production is in your face and the riffs are killer. There are not many ‘hooks’ per se, but that is made up for by the pure brutality!
One of the best bands around for their Genre, and a definate top 10 in the ‘best of’ category for 2007! A must have for all headbangers! The question has been answered, DevilDriver is for real.
they are back, and it is frikkin awesome! they had their first album, which was great but has been said to be a bit rough around the edges, then their second “sophmore” release, which many bands sometime rise and fall by, and DD clearly progressed and refined their sound, and now we are brought to their third album. the first thing that struck me that there was a definite progression in their music, but yet still retains the same aggression and edge you’d expect from their previous release. as Fury was more polished then their first album, Last Kind Words is still more refined, better riffs, better arrangement, while still grabbing you by the back of the head and slamming your cranium into the wall.
Even Dez’s trademark “cookie monster” vocals (which i hate using that term, but don’t know how else to describe it) is even further developed on this album.
If you are a DevilDriver fan……….then you’re probably not even reading this and already have it………..
if you are a metal fan, this is the epitome of the current state of metal done at its finest.
the best analogy i can give to this album is looking at Metallica’s first 3 studio releases, same feeling, same sound, just kept getting better and better.
hands down, a must buy, period
Without a doubt the heaviest of the three albums, DevilDriver has really nailed it home with “Last Kind Words”. The CD is intense and, for lack of a better term, driving. It truly seems like DD has found their niche, and is quickly becoming the forefront of a new wave of metal to-come. Their combination of melodic, death, and thrash metal is brilliantly refined and fuses seamlessly. After first popping in the CD, you will instantly be blown away by the first track “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”. You’ll instantly notice the CD kicks off fast, hard, and heavy. The pace WILL create uncontrollable body movements, believe you me, and does a fantastic job of drawing you in.
“Not All Who Wander Are Lost” is DevilDriver’s first single of the CD, and with good reason. The lyrics are much more intelligent and well thought-out in comparison to the self-titled album and “The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand”. You will also notice the band got a little carried away with guitar solos, however, they definitely add a unique flavor to each song. The next of my favorites is “Clouds Over California” which is eargasmic. The track truly displays the band’s skill as a whole. “Horn Of Betrayal”, “These Fighting Words”, and “Head On To Heartache (Let Them Rot)” are also just as equally amazing.
Overall, I am becoming more and more blown away with each album. Long live DevilDriver.