April 9, 2014 Chiodos – Devil (Album Review)
In recent years huge things have happened for the Michigan based band Chiodos who welcomed back founding lead singer Craig Owens and original drummer Derrick Frost. In addition, they have added lead guitarist Thomas Erak formerly of The Fall of Troy to their already extremely talented lineup. Over the past thirteen years Chiodos has released three full length albums, two of which featured Owens as lead vocalist. All’s Well That Ends Well (2005) debuted at #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and Bone Palace Ballet (2007) debuted on the Billboard top 200 chart at #5. Chiodos has headlined tours across the globe and shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the industry including Linkin Park, Coheed and Cambria, Nine Inch Nails, 30 Seconds to Mars and so many more. Compounding the progression in the band, in 2013 they signed a new record deal with Razor & Tie and entered the studio with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Stone Sour, and Muse) to record their fourth highly anticipated album Devil.
The first single off the album, “Old Fishlips is Dead Now”, is a heavy and high-energy song that features a good mix of clean and unclean vocals. Certainly to become a crowd favorite and make set-lists time and time again, this was a perfect choice for a lead single. Another track which is sure to have an entire venue off their feet is the intense “Behvis Bullock”. Starting off with very strong guitars and Owens screaming, the song does not slow down even when the clean singing beginnings.
While Devil does have that real joint of passion you like to hear from a band, it is also clear to see this time around Chiodos was not writing strictly for their audience but for themselves and the direction they wanted to take the music. Certainly maturing a great deal from their younger days, the growth both lyrically and musically is quite noticeable. With more emotional and deep words than ever before, they bring light to the struggles they face in a very raw and open way. A prime example of such is “3AM”; a very blunt and honest song about the strife musicians face with relationships and the emptiness of shallow interactions. This strong emphasis on well written lyrics continues with “Looking for a Tornado”. The lyrics “Do I believe in Love, Do I believe in heaven” underline a consistent theme Owens sings about on this album.
Overall, Devil is a very good album and it is extremely evident the band has come quite a long way since 2001. The singles released made it seem as if the majority of the album would be very high energy, but it is often important to remember that not every single is a clear representation of an entire record. It is one thing to write a handful of hit singles, but another to put together a cohesively solidified album. Chiodos has managed to do so with Devil and the genuine, raw lyrics are a fantastic development. It will be exciting and interesting to see fans’ reaction to the songs when they are played live on the band’s upcoming ‘Devil Dance Tour’. CrypticRock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.