Former Killswitch Engage singer Howard Jones is finally making his much-anticipated return to music with brand-new band, Devil You Know.
We’ve heard the album, and you can read our full review in an upcoming edition of the mag, but for now, we thought we’d give you a quick track-by-track guide to give you an idea of how it’s sounding [HINT: pretty fucking good!]
Here we go…
Devil You Know The Beauty Of Destruction Track-By-Track
- A New Beginning
This aptly-named number explodes into existence with a flurry of “HEY!” chants and a deliciously heavy, groove-laden riff that bodes very, very well indeed. “As long as we’ve got something to fight for!” screams our Howard, and by jove, it’s good to hear him again. Welcome back, buddy. We’re digging the sinister, doomy outro on this one, too.
- My Own
A juddering, deathy beast of a riff gives way to a more melodic midsection that, in turn, leads to some classic Howard clean vox for the chorus. “You can say what you will, ‘cause I’ll still be holding strong” croons the singer. We believe him, and we’re glad he’s still making full use of those pipes of his.
- Embracing The Torture
HELLO BLASTBEASTS! A ferocious intro that’s as much Arch Enemy as it is KsE sees Howard on blistering form, reaching right into his belly for some proper gutteral growls. A slower, clean chorus breaks up the pace nicely, but this is still a heavier, faster number than we’re used to seeing with HoJo, with All Shall Perish man Francesco Artusato busting out a fretboard-hammering solo for good measure. Fine stuff so far
- For The Dead And Broken
Definitely a more restrained and, dare we say, rock-oriented track here to bring the pace of the album down a notch. No signs of any screams from Howard, who puts in a relatively delicate showing, evidently taking the “less is more” approach. A lighter song, but it’s a nice change of tone.
- Seven Years Alone
And we’re back in the zone! An intro that sounds like it could have come from the minds of a certain masked metal machine from Iowa gives way to a hell of a chorus that seems destined to be a live favourite. “I will not be held, I won’t be contained!” yells Howard. Again, we’re not arguing! Another neat solo tops this one off.
- It’s Over
Is that an acoustic guitar we hear? We’re a long way from Kansas, friends. Another pace-breaker with a slower, lumbering chorus that won’t get any pits started, but certainly shows that this is not a one-trick band. Interesting.
7.A Mind Insane
Back into ferocious territory once again, this is a straight-up melodeath ripper with a gnarly, blastbeat-driven “chorus”, if it can even be called that. The heaviest song on the album so far for sure with a straight-up death metal midsection that’s as brutal as anything Howard’s put his name to thus far. There’s another solo from our boy Francesco too. Nicely done.
- Crawl From The Dark
“I turned my back on the world/Then my heart grew cold” sings Howard as another round of melodeath-heavy metalcore riffage kicks in. There’s a nice sinister undertone to this one, and Howard’s lyrics continue to point to some serious soul-searching during his time off.
- The Killer
We’re always down with a bit of chuggy riffing, and this one has chug to spare. “Stay away from me!” roars Howard, before some galloping drums kick in to shift up the velocity a bit. He’s angry, folks, no doubt about it!
- I Am The Nothing
Another more mid-tempo number that sees HoJo taking a rather restrained approach. According to these lyrics, he really is the nothing. We’re not so sure about that.
- Shut It Down
Another blastbeat-laden number, with former Divine Heresy man John Sankey giving the skins a damn good seeing to as some big, groovy riffs and a couple of Gojira-esque pick scrapes carry him along nicely. Heavy stuff.
- As Bright As The Darkness
A dark and plodding album-ender, with Howard’s vox given a dank, echoey affect and some staticy sampling and shimmering guitar picking making for a rather atmospheric, uneasy listen. A gloomy fade-out makes this more of a somber bow than a closing smack to the face, but it’s certainly different.
INITIAL VERDICT: It looks like Killswitch fans will find plenty to sink their teeth into, but there’s enough else going on here to prove that Howard et al aren’t content to simply tread familiar territory. Promising!
The Beauty Of Destruction lands on April 28 via Nuclear Blast. Devil You Know make their UK debut at Sonisphere in July.