The Devil Knows My Name Review

artist: John 5 date: 08/22/2007 category: compact discs
John 5: The Devil Knows My Name
Release Date: Apr 2, 2007
Label: Mascot
Genres: Alternative Pop/Rock, Guitar Virtuoso, Instrumental Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
The CD is very carefully though-out. It may seem at the first listen that all the different guitar sounds are just thrown together, but they are not. Every arrangement and guitar effect is there for a reason.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9
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 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (3) 48 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
The Devil Knows My Name Reviewed by: UG Team, on may 17, 2007
2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Don't try to repeat it as it can be dangerous! With his new album Devil Knows My Name, John 5 for the third time proves he can do magic with his guitar! You would expect something like that from a man who's got his own Signature Fender Telecaster... As the musician claims in one interview, he is constantly writing instrumental stuff and you realize what he means listening to his new album -- 11 pure instrumental songs, full of guitar solos. There are many different styles on the album -- industrial, blues-rock and even country. But metal and heavy rock are prevailing of course, thanx to Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson who John 5 has previously worked with. The artist fuses elements of all those music styles, switching from hard rock to country sometimes within one song to create tracks very intense and furious. For his background band John 5 called his friends and the band is worth the frontman! Musicians like Tommy Clufetos, and Piggy D from Rob Zombie, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and Jim Root (SlipKnot) play on the album. The record is a lot more diverse than the artist's previous works, here's every sound you can possible get out of guitar. Like the opener First Victim that is done with a violin bow. Of course this wouldn't be the record by John Lowery (which is his real name) without his famous amazing legato licks, like in Dead Art In Plainfield. The track is the most melodic one that features a driving rhythm and a catchy rock riff. Out of 11 tracks there's one cover -- Guns N'Roses' 1980s hit Welcome To The Jungle. It is done with a solo guitar instead of Axl's vocals, but very close to them. Joe Satriani, which the artist admits as one of his guitar geniuses, joins John 5 on The Werewolf Of Westeria. The two guitars in the track are competing with each other in virtuosity and this is the finest cut of the album. // 9

Lyrics: This is the best part of the CD -- there are no dumb, awkward lyrics, making you think of a stupid person that wrote them. Actually there are no lyrics at all, just pure music to enjoy. But the song titles tell a lot themselves if you know where they came from. Most of the songs are referenced to serial killers, like 27 Needles which is about a serial killer Albert Fish, who put 27 needles in his groin, when he went to jail. You'll find lots of scary stories like this if you look for the song names on the Internet. This can be more interesting than Saw III movie! // 10

Overall Impression: The CD is very carefully though-out. It may seem at the first listen that all the different guitar sounds are just thrown together, but they are not. Every arrangement and guitar effect is there for a reason. There are a lot of very complex guitar riffs and solos that would take you some effort to play. You can literally take any part of any song on Devil Knows My Name and make it your daily guitar exercise. I'd say He's a technically talented musician, but can you be talented when it comes to technique? It's rather He has spent most of his life practicing guitar and now you can claim he's traded his soul for playing guitar. // 9

- Kosh (c) 2007

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overall: 8.7
The Devil Knows My Name Reviewed by: Gein, on may 17, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is John 5's third instrumental solo album and it's full of epic shredding, creepy samples, serial killers and guest appearances. It is also his longest album, with most of the songs passing the five minute mark. The album starts off with a violin bow playing what sounds like something out of an old horror movie. It quickly cuts into The Werewolf of Westeria (featuring Joe Satriani), which simply slices your face off, fries it and devours it in front of your lidless eyes (while The Satch watches). After some more heavy guitar riffs and speedy solos, you're hit with Bella Kiss, an easy-going country styled song, leading in to the next track, Black Widow of La Porte. This headbashing track features Jim Root of Slipknot, who does a nice job with adapting to John's riffs. There are two covers in this album; Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N' Roses and Young Thing by Chet Atkins. In the first, John sings Axl's lines with his guitar, with incredible accuracy. Dead Art in Plainfield is a song you'd listen to to feel like a badass. In this song, John emulates Tom Morello's signature on/off toggle switching solo, and pulls it off quite well. The Washing Away of Wrong features Eric Johnson. This is a weird appearance as the song is very heavy compared to Johnson's work. However, it's hard to notice this as the solo he plays fits in very well with the rest of the album. // 9

Lyrics: Instrumental record. The only lyrics you'll hear are from the samples embedded into the songs. This adds to the creepy environment of the album. One particular sample has been glorified in the Harold Rollings Hymn. This is a sample off a song which a serial killer named (obviously) Harold Rollings sang before he was hanged. Obviously, John has done some more reading on serial killers since his last record (almost all of the titles are references to serial killers). // 8

Overall Impression: The songs which impressed me the most are The Werewolf of Westeria, Dead Art in Plainfield and The Washing Away of Wrong. All of these tracks contained heavy riffs with intricate solos to compliment them, which is what I love about John 5's work. I love everything about this album. The only thing that annoys me is how little country/bluegrass songs there are. It seems as John 5 releases solo albums, there are less and less bluegrass songs. However, the influence is still found in his solos. With insane solos, roaring riffs, and guests like Piggy D., Joe Satriani, Matt Bissonette, Eric Johnson and Jim Root, this album delivers a kick to the balls you'd be happy to recieve. If it were stolen, I'd understand. Then I'd get another copy. // 9

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overall: 9.3
The Devil Knows My Name Reviewed by: Cobalt Blue, on august 22, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Devil Knows my name is more or less an instrumental metal album with a few twists. John 5 captures many beautiful tones on this album using his signature Telecaster and shows off his technique with enough skill to make even the greatest guitarist's do a double take on what they just heard. There is a lot of metal track on here, 'The Werewolf Of Westeria' is quite impressive, as is '27 Needles' with it's "chicken picking" showing off John 5's versatility on his instrument. The solo's on this album are especially good, due to John painstakingly doubling over them to sweeten their tone. There's some softer tracks on the album, 'Bella Kiss' is a clean single guitar playing throughout the song. 'Young Thing' is a fun old fashion blues number. Let's not forget about the instrumental cover of Gun's and Roses classic "Welcome to the Jungle" which is a nice treat for anybody who enjoys the instrumentation of Gun's but isn't a fan of Axl's voice. // 9

Lyrics: No lyrics on the album. But there is some spoken word passages on '27 Needles' for example telling of how serial killer put 27 needles into his pelvic region as a sick form of pleasure. There's one or two other songs which there's spoken words telling part of the story of the serial killer that inspired the song title. // 10

Overall Impression: Well as this being virtually the first time I've heard any of John 5's work I was very impressed I'm looking into getting his 2 previous album's. I'd recommend this album to anybody who enjoys metal or even just some impressive guitar work. It may not be my favorite instrumental album, but it's up there. If this album was lost or stolen I would likely replace it. I'm sure I'll be spending much time in the near future trying to duplicate sounds and lines from this album in my own. // 9

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