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Devildriver: Pray For Villains

How do you treat people who don't have an ounce of belief in what you're working so hard to achieve? Ignore them. It seems that no other band in U.S. metal today has taken this to heart better than Devildriver. Despite ugly comparisons to frontman Dez Fafara's Nu-Metal origins and how trendy his current group sounds, Devildriver stay focused on improving their chops, deliver strong live performances, and above all, write kickass music. The last of their virtues is gloriously heard on the title track that cranks open the quintet's latest, Pray For Villains.

From its rumbling double bass pedal at that start to the epic grooves that animate Dez' catchy-as-hell chorus ("We pray for villains/when our heroes let us down.") the first song here has the magical ability, which so many bands don't, to ensnare the listener from the first mintue onward. Knowing that the best course of action following an excellent opener is to stay consistent and not let the momentum slow down, the ensuing tracks—"Pure Sincerity," "Fate Stepped In," and "Back With A Vengeance"—keep the album's pace moving in the right direction, catering to everyone's taste for the heavy and groovesome. The wrinkles only become apparent past the excellent tandem "I've Been Sober" and "Ressurection Boulevard." Both songs tackle personal redemption from the perspective of a disgruntled member of the human race. Well, that's the way this reviewer hears it. However, once their done, what comes next seems to pale in comparison.

While Dez is occupied with his trademark grunts throughout the album, his guitarists keep busy delivering solos and the delicious harmonies that make the best songs here stand out. While there are flourishes of technicality once in a while, axemen Mike Speitzer and Jeff Kendrick are that special pair who focus more on fitting the solos to the song rather than let these damage the composition's unity. Besides several lackluster tracks past the excellent "Another Night In London," Devildriver still execute even their less sterling material with the deftness of seasoned musicians. With Pray For Villains the band have probably released their best album yet. Expect this to crop up in a lot of "Year's Best" lists come January 2010.

Track Listing
1. Pray For Villains
2. Pure Sincerity
3. Fate Stepped In
4. Back With A Vengeance
5. I've Been Sober
6. Ressurection Blvd.
7. Forgiveness Is A Six Gun
8. Waiting for November
9. It's In The Cards
10. Another Night In London
11. Bitter Pill
12. Teach Me To Whisper
13. I See Belief

Added: September 21st 2009
Reviewer: Miguel Blardony
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2094
Language: english

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