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DevilDriver - Dealing with Demons Vol 1 Award winner

DevilDriver
Dealing with Demons Vol 1
by Jean-François Poulin at 25 October 2020, 11:48 AM

DEVILDRIVER is a Groove Metal band from Santa Barbara, California. Rising from the ashes of COAL CHAMBER, DEVILDRIVER came to fruition back in 2003 and have been extremely proficient since then, releasing pretty much an album per two years. Though this is the first album of original material since 2016’s ‘’Trust No One’’ and we are getting the second part of Dealing with Demons next year.

Wow I think I haven’t listened to DEVILDRIVER since 2011’s ‘’Beast’’ which I saw them playing at the annual Heavy MTL festival back in the summer of the same year. They blew me away live and it was one of the highlights of an incredible day. I was aware of their first few albums and heard them here and there but live, it’s where it’s at honestly. They have unbridled energy and I always thought they were not able to make the transition between that energy and what they put on CD. A lot of bands nowadays have that problem unfortunately.

This is a very personal album for Dez Fafara, his wife was battling cancer and their was anger at the world. He was pissed off that his beloved was sick and he felt helpless in a sense. This situation made him think about those past demons, dealing with the demons inside when everything arounds you breaks your heart. The scars, the sadness and the anger that comes over you is extremely strong and can make you hit right bottom if you give up to those demons. The lyrics reflect on a difficult time for the frontman and writing was cathartic for him and dealt with the unimaginable pain he endured during that period of time and thankfully his wife has recovered since and has a full bill of health now!

‘’Keep Away from Me’’ is about dealing with the problem head on but alone. You don’t want any help, you just want to feel that raw sadness inside out. You refuse help from friends and family, you immerse yourself in that pain you feel. You push off people even though you love them, you just want to face everything alone, you feel like the whole world is on your shoulders and you carry that heavy burden’.

‘’Vengeance is Clear’’ might be the most aggressive song from this new album. He is angry at the world for what is happening and he just wants to dish out his pain and vengeance upon the world. It seems like the whole world comes crashing down and it hurts inside and all you think is vengeance on what is happening, his mind is clear enough that sometimes you want to scream to the sky and say, why me? What did I do to deserve this and if somethings happens to my beloved, I am not responsible for my actions.

‘’Wishing’’ is about the future, you don’t know what’s going to happen, you wish for the best especially when confronted with sickness. You wish that you could have done something more, you wish for recovery, your mind is full of wishing, bad and good at the same time. You wish for the pain to go away but you wish you could have done more in the past and this song is a reflection of this.

‘’You Give Me a Reason to Drink’’ is pretty much self explanatory! Sometimes when everything falls apart you go for the bottle, you try to forget your pain and drink your pain away and that’s not a good thing. You are the vessel of your self destruction and you make others feel your pain and it’s even worse. You can be depressed and sad about what is happening but drinking yourself to death is not the way to go.

‘’Scars Me Forever’’ is about living in the moment and remembering these types of situations in the future. Sickness can bring unity between two people and they will obviously leave you scarred, physically and emotionally. You never forget how you got these scars and what they mean to you, on more than one level and how you can cherish those scars even though it hurt you so bad you wanted to end it all.

This is a very emotional album and aggressive at the same time. It’s probably their best effort since their first two albums. They are at the forefront of the Groove Metal scene and they take the reigns of the genre with this album. This was a hard album to listen to but it shows the battle scars of the venerable Dez Fafara and how he pulled through a difficult time in his life.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Keep Away from Me
2. Vengeance is Clear
3. Nest of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me a Reason to Drink
7. Witches
8. Dealing with Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever
Lineup:
Dez Fafara – Vocals
Mike Spreitzer – Guitars
Austin D’Amond – Drums
Neal Tiemann – Guitars
Diego Ibarra – Bass
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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