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Released: Jul 14th, 2009
Genre: Groove Metal
Number Of Tracks: 13
Pray for Villains is DevilDrivers fourth platter of crunchy, chunky and always angry metal. By now, you should be asking, Coal Chamber who? Thats because DevilDriver have truly come into their own now.
Pray For Villains
UG Team, on july 14, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: DevilDriver are on their fourth album and they've certainly developed and cemented a signature sound with Pray for Villains. If you want to run through a checklist, fine. Gargled-with-razorblades-and-sewage vocals? Check. Pulse-quickening riffs packed with crunchy noise? Yep, those are here. Thunderous drumming that undoubtedly nails the band's musical backbone down to the floor? Oh hell yeah and it's safe to say that drummer John Boecklin is the mechanism that makes the band tick, that makes DevilDriver go. His beats are nothing short of detonated bombs going off in rapid-fire succession. DevilDriver have all the necessary qualities that comprise a solid metal band and album. The band hasn't thrown the rage to the wayside on Villains nor have they lost a step. It's plain and simple metal; there's no trace of trends, such as quiet-loud dynamics or a stringing together of parts. The metal wheel or steel- isn't being reinvented here, but that's not really DevilDriver's intention, either. Quality metal that impacts like a billion left hooks to the jaw is! Want your brain to feel like a pinball? Then put your volume to its highest setting for the blackened, groove-tastic Pure Sincerity, the slightly punk rock influenced and musically interesting Fate Stepped In or the title track. Back With a Vengeance serves as the album's most audible anthem, while Fate Stepped In has intricate guitar work about three minutes into the song and it's unlike anything the band has ever done. A real step up, for sure! // 9
Lyrics: There's a bit of a renegade theme to Pray for Villains, with songs titles like Forgiveness is a Six-Gun. For the first time in DevilDriver's history, vocalist Dez Fafara, who shot to fame in nu metal superstars Coal Chamber in the late 1990s, enunciates and his lyrics are clearer and more discernible. You can actually understand what he is saying without having to yank out the lyrics sheet or booklet. His phlegmy vocals are as enraged as ever, as he spews dude'ish subjects; that is, he's all about releasing the demons and getting the testosterone out. Vengeance, sobriety, the open road and not seeing the last o' me are common lyrical touch points and they fit the album's tone and texture. There's a unifying, ominous thread to the lyrical bend and subject matter. // 8
Overall Impression: Again, DevilDriver aren't hypertech nor are they are hybrid band seeking to be everything to everyone. Rather, they have a singular goal to craft eye of the tiger metal. It may be mirthless music and really, what metal isn't a little bit on the dark side? but it's certainly an excellent candidate for background music when working out like a fiend. DevilDriver have definitely doled out another slab of meat and potatoes metal. // 8
Pray For Villains
systematication, on july 14, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow. What can you say about this one? I have heard every song off of here without downloading a leak (stupid). I am pretty sure I can make some accurate statements here. DevilDriver have most definitely upped their anty here. Everything here is layered incredibly thick. It sounds great. No raw, unproduced LoG sound here.
The boys on guitar have stepped up. This time around they've topped riffs from "The Last Kind Words" with heavy as hell power chord riffs and the same old groove metal riffs. Not to mention some songs featuring some sweet as hell solos and sweep picking sections. Johnny B. On drums is still kicking ass. His double bass patterns here are murder (Pray For Villains, I See Belief). The bassist sounds good here too. Definitely adds to the overall sound.
I don't think they've sounded this good before this record. // 10
Lyrics: Dez has definitely found a groove metal sweet spot. His lyrics are simply great here. The choruses are simple words as always, but his rhythms are great... (Pray for Villains, Back With a Vengeance, etc.). He really has stepped it up this time around. The chorus on every song sounds great.
Not only are the lyrics great, but his voice actually sounds great with the songs here. They layered some stuff for reverb and whatnot, but for the most part it sounds great. // 9
Overall Impression: I think this is definitely DevilDriver's strongest effort. They've gotten some technical stuff added to their writing, but it doesn't take away from that sweet as hell groove metal sound we love.
01. Pray For Villains
02. Pure Sincerity
03. Fate Stepped In
04. Back With a Vengeance
05. I've Been Sober
06. Resurrection BLVD
07. Forgiveness Is a Six Gun
08. Waiting For November
09. It's In The Cards
10. Another Night In London
11. Bitter Pill
12. Teach Me To Whisper
13. I See Belief
Out of those, I think the best are Pray For Villains, Back With a Vengeance, Another Night In London, Waiting for November, Fate Stepped In, and Bitter Pill. Something strikes me about them. I love this album in it's entirety. There is nothing not to like, except for in a few sections, there is no traditional DevilDriver rapid fire double bass drumming. I don't own the album yet, I've only heard it. I will definitely be buying the album, probably the special edition. If it gets stolen I will undoubtedly buy it again.
Go buy this if you have any sense. Pray For Villains wretched! // 10
Pray For Villains
HardAttack, on july 24, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Looking at DevilDriver's work it's hard to believe they've blown through 3 albums already and they've been touring constantly before and after writing & recording a new one. I pray that these guys don't tour themselfs to death because plenty of people here know that life on the road can be like. It takes its toll. I'd love for this band to be something that lasts as long as it can go. Hell, 15-20 years would be great. DevilDriver exploded onto the metal scene with vocals only Dez Fafara can possibly produce, insame drumming courtesy of John Boecklin, and some wonderful guitars from a couple of then relatively unknown guitarists. I think this band is definitely Dez's best project to date, and from the looks of things, I think he intends to keep it going.
The music they make evolves a little bit each album. From their self titled album to 'Fury of Our Makers Hands' they went from a fully agressive style with amerature lyrics (sorry DevilDriver fans, I love them but it's true) to a band that added in some cleans and better song transitions with some improved lyrics. From that album to 'The Last Kind Words' I saw them tune their guitars up from Drop B to Drop C and make a more melancholy album revolving around betrayal and sorrow rather than references to overall evil. This new album is something I see as a collection of everything that's great about the band with yet again, some added innovations. The track arragement is clearly well put together, and fused in such a way that it could be played in its entirety without stopping between songs, as if the music would stay fresh without an ending. The lyrics are better, yet again and there is more lead guitar work than ever before proving that these guys don't rely on only palm mutes and speed picking to get the job done. There is some serious bonding going on between all the instruments and I couldn't be happier as a result of that. // 10
Lyrics: Dying is Easy
It's living that's hard
It's so disturbing to hear what you're fearing
Rain of terror out in the cold
Nothing stupid sounding in there. Groundbreaking? No. Truth with emotional influence? Absolutely. Listening to this song for the 12th time (according to iTunes) the effects of the collaboration between spoken word and instruments are still there. It comes together great, and I'll say right now that Dez has not lost his mojo. I'm very surprised guys like him can keep their vocal chords in working order after a couple of songs, nevermind after four albums and several tours. // 8
Overall Impression: You know, when I read that people think this album isn't as good as ___(insert random number)___ I can't help but wonder: Why? The vocals are just as strong, guitar work is even more well thought out, there are plenty of songs, they made a special edition album along with the normal release and they have tons of tracks which fit together very well. All I can say is that I believe that this is their overall best work. Others who say that the band keeps maturing are the ones I absolutely agree with. This CD/DVD set is a purchase I treasure and I'd absolutely pay the band and the label again if the CD got lost or stolen somehow (don't get any ideas).
If you liked any of DevilDrivers past work (and I mean any) or you'd like to explore another avenue in the Metal world that combines intelligent and skillful( but not overly crazy) lead guitar, some of the fastest drumming in the world and skull rattling vocals, look no further. // 10