Devildriver: Winter Kills

Brutal euphoria from Dez Farara and co

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Ten years on and it’s still hard to imagine this band ever losing an ounce of their brutality or groove. Fresh but unapologetically Devildriver, this sixth album sees a return to their first few albums as if filtered through a modern lens.

The hooks are huge, the riffs churn hard and heavy, and lead single Ruthless provides an early taste of one of the most exciting tracks here. The band has a fresh new label and steady bass player now, too, and Haunting Refrain shows the fretwork and frontman’s voice at full throttle. That is, until an unfortunate song fade-out destroys the mood. Short, stomping track Gutted is distinctive but lacks the inventiveness of some other tracks, especially when The Appetite and striking album closer Sail show what Devildriver are truly capable of.

Meanwhile, Tripping Over Tombstones has a few too many of the cheesy vocal gulps on it, but is quickly forgiven thanks to another dose of immense guitarwork. Euphoric, brutal, and melodic all at once, this track will kill it live. This is Devildriver stripped to their core and unleashing some of the freshest, most menacing tracks in years. Bring on the tour.