DevilDriver - The Last Kind Words
Roadrunner Records
Death / Groove Metal
11 songs (45:39)
Release year: 2007
DevilDriver, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Dylan
DevilDriver has finally found their niche. They’ve managed to spew out an album that is faster, louder, heavier, and straight up better than anything they’ve ever done before. There were a few cool songs on their 2003 debut, but it seemed like the band was holding back quite a lot. When The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand dropped in 2005, it seemed like the band took a huge step towards the kind of sound that Dez Fafara had intended it to take when DevilDriver was originally formed. So if there are still any metalheads out there that still hold DevilDriver’s metallic integrity in question, now is the time to see what these guys are really capable of.

For those who don’t know what DevilDriver sounds like, take the groove of Lamb of God, weld it to the simple aggression of latter day Pantera, and add in a few pinches of Gothenburg melody when the time is right, and you will have a rough idea of what kind of aural assault they bring to the tabel. Vocalist Dez Fafara sounds as pissed off as he ever has, and is in the possession of a very raspy bark that proves to be quite intelligible, even when things get really heavy. Since this is their third release on Roadrunner, it pretty much goes without saying that everything sounds ultra-sharp on this release. The bass has a thundering rumble to it, the drums are clear and pack quite a punch, while the guitars sound as thick as they do sharp. The album as a whole is quite consistent, although I must say that it begins with two of the best songs the band has ever written. The first of these is Not All Who Wander Are Lost, and it is a perfect way to open the album. It’s main riff thrashes about over the restless drumming of John Boecklin, and then the tremendous groove is unleashed during the chorus. Mix that with the climactic breakdown and the tasty solo found midway through, and you’ve got one hell of an intro. The other standout song that rears its head early is Bound By The Moon. Holy shit, talk about a strong chorus. Guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick let their European influences shine through on the melodic lead work found in the chorus of this song, while Fafara spits out something venomous on top of it all.

The album's mid-section is also quite strong, containing two anthemic songs that are sure to be live favorites in These Fighting Words and Head On to Heartache (Let Them Rot). Now while the rest of the album doesn’t really pale in comparison to the first half, it does not manage to shine as brightly. With the exception of Tirades of Truth (which features vocals from Fafara’s nine year old son!), the songs end up sounding repetitive when they all seem to follow the same structure. Everything begins with an intro riff for a few seconds, the rest of the band join in, the verse comes, pre-chorus, then THE CHORUS, followed by a groovy breakdown, and then the whole thing is repeated. A wicked solo has about a 50% chance of occurring.

So what they may lack in originality, DevilDriver makes up for in delivery. They sound like they had a blast making this record, and each musician is at the top of his game. Any previous fans of the band should pick this up without hesitation, while skeptics and newcomers should at least sample a few of their songs to see what they can are capable of. This album is about as easy of a listen as a mainstream death metal album can be, and while it does not fulfill any prophecies, or challenge the listener much at all, it is energetic, fun, and simply heavy. I’m sure that these songs will absolutely slay live, and can’t wait to be there in the front row barking along.

Note: Below is the video for "Not All Who Wander Are Lost". In time the video may become outdated and fail to play.

Killing Songs :
Not All Who Wander Are Lost, Bound By The Moon, These Fighting Words, Head On To Heartache (Let Them Rot), and Tirades of Truth.
Dylan quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by DevilDriver that we have reviewed:
DevilDriver - Winter Kills reviewed by Jared and quoted 75 / 100
DevilDriver - Pray For Villains reviewed by Khelek and quoted 72 / 100
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