DevilDriver - Pray For Villains
Roadrunner Records
Groovy Melodic Death Metal
13 songs (56:15)
Release year: 2009
DevilDriver, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Khelek

Admittedly I have never been a big DevilDriver fan, the only album I have by them is their second release, The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand, which I thought had some good songs but didn't have what it takes to be a really good album. I listened to it quite a few times, but it was hard not to skip to the songs I really liked. Pray For Villains, the American band's fourth studio effort, reminds me in some ways of that album in that it has some good songs but doesn't really come together nicely. These guys certainly know what they're doing in the technical aspects of the sound, but when it comes to writing songs they write some good ones, but few that will keep you coming back for more.

The first (and title) track sounds like I would expect it to; a quick tempo with a barrage of heavy riffs coming at you along with some double bass drumming. It's a pretty solid first track, but it doesn't really present anything that new or exciting apart from what the band has already accomplished. I was surprised that this track doesn’t contain much melodic guitar work or even a solo, the riffs stay pretty groovy and thick throughout the song. Fate Stepped In comes in with an almost thrashy sounding riff that is quite catchy and powerful. The drumming on this song is just insane in terms of speed. Towards the end of the song things calm down with some clean electric guitar and bass work that fades to the end. Back With A Vengeance starts with some melodic guitar work, then the mid-paced heavy riffs and drums come in. This song is very catchy, especially in the chorus, which sounds like some earlier DevilDriver work. This song is also shorter than many on the album which is good in this case because you don't get tired of the somewhat repetitive style of the song. I've Been Sober catches my attention with its use of melodic guitar work and catchy verse. There are even some clean vocals towards the end of the song, something rarely heard from this band. Resurrection Blvd. has an interesting melodic guitar lead throughout the song, which sounds almost like something I’d expect from Mastodon. There is also an undercurrent of melancholy in this song which is created through the guitar and the vocals. This quickly became one of my favorite songs. It's In The Cards starts out with some really crushing guitar work and drums, but the song has trouble keeping my attention the whole time mostly because the chorus is repeated so much. Some melodic guitars are worked in towards the end of the song but they are more melancholy and it doesn't really seem to fit with the rest of the song in my opinion.

This is for the most part what I expected from DevilDriver. The songs are often good, but there are few great ones. If only these guys could write more songs like Sin And Sacrifice or Resurrection Blvd. this would be a fantastic album. I do really enjoy hearing these guys play their instruments, but it doesn't leave me with a lasting impression of greatness. I do have to quickly mention the limited edition cd as it contains some good bonus tracks, the clincher being a great cover of Iron Maiden's Wasted Years. Moreover I am sure diehard fans will love this as it sounds, well, like DevilDriver, with a few groovier elements than may have been present before. As for me, I like this album, but ultimately I don't think I'll find myself listening to the whole thing at once, just those few songs I really enjoyed.

Killing Songs :
Fate Stepped In, Resurrection Blvd., Teach Me To Whisper
Khelek quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by DevilDriver that we have reviewed:
DevilDriver - Winter Kills reviewed by Jared and quoted 75 / 100
DevilDriver - The Last Kind Words reviewed by Dylan and quoted 80 / 100
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