September 28, 2020 DevilDriver – Dealing With Demons I (Album Review)
A scar on the face of Modern North American Heavy Metal, DevilDriver – Dez Fafara (vocals), Mike Spreitzer (guitar), Neal Tiemann (guitar), Diego Ibarra (bass), and Austin D’Amond (drums) – return to the surface via their new album, Dealing With Demons I, slated for release on Friday, October 2, 2020 thanks to Napalm Records.
Produced by seasoned veteran Steve Evetts (Sepultura, Dillinger Escape Plan), Dealing With Demons I is DevilDriver’s first collection of new original material since 2016’s Trust No One peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard U.S. Top Hard Rock Albums Chart. Two years later, DevilDriver dropped the LP, 2018’s Outlaws ’til the End: Vol. 1, which saw DevilDriver cover classic outlaw Country songs with a whose who of guests such as Randy Blythe and Mark Morton of Lamb Of God, John 5, and Glenn Danzig.
As any true music fan knows, great music is so much more than the music itself, there is also the story behind the music. That said, Dealing With Demons I is the first of two chapters which mark what the band calls a final purging of demons for Vocalist Dez Fafara. Fans who truly know the music will know that Fafara’s inner demons have been a part of DevilDriver’s music for years and Dealing With Demons I is the beginning of the end of the Metal singers fight. For anyone wondering when a Volume 2 will be released, that info will come at a later date.
For now, we must walk through the first chapter in this tale and that all begins with Dealing With Demons I. Facing this darkness with no fear, Dealing With Demons I begins with the ominous and blunt “Keep Away From Me” and the mosh worthy, revenge laden track “Vengeance Is Clear.” As the heavy stay heavy, you can feel the burning aggression from the changing melodies on “Nest Of Vipers.” Next, “Iona” presents incredibly haunting imagery of a woman and the message is to stay far away. A stand out, “Wishing” is a catchy and mournful track with enormous presence.
All in the family, Fafara’s 22 year-old son, Simon Blade Fafara, joins DevilDriver on the soul bearing number “You Give Me A Reason To Drink.” Venturing out on his own, Simon has his own band called Blade, focusing more in the area of Djent Metal. Blade released the single “Cutthroat” in January of this year and hopes to release a full length album soon. Conjuring evil, “Witches” will put a spell on Metal while pounders “Dealing With Demons” and “The Damned Don’t Cry” are a pair of slaughtering pieces. Lastly, Dealing With Demons I culminates when “Scars Me Forever” closes out the act of this eventual double album.
Deeply written and heavily dosed with hammering Metal, the heavy rhythms and dark melodies of Dealing With Demons I feature openly candid lyrics that pierce the veil of Fafara’s inner demons, exposing an ongoing fight and the will to survive. Over the course of ten tracks, DevilDriver unleash their trademark aggression and melodic stylings which fans have come to indulge. In addition, listeners are really encouraged to take in the lyrics as Fafara bleeds his heart out in the most admirable way as we look forward to Volume 2 sometime in the near future. One of the most anticipated Metal releases of 2020, Cryptic Rock awards Dealing With Demons I 4 out of 5 stars.