CD Review: “Trust No One” by Devildriver

Devildriver stays on the beaten path with its seventh record, Trust No One. The band get straight to business with “Testimony of Truth” which features nice guitar work from new guitarist Neil Tiemann. The double bass drumming propels this track. “Into the Night Sky” opens with a sludgy riff but stays on cruise control for the remainder of the track. There is a nice electronic ambient sample in the middle of the song that breaks the monotony though. The band adds a little Euro-metal influence on “This Deception.” The guitars are vaguely reminiscent of melodic death metal but the band reverts to its signature groove sound. It is another example of the band refusing to deviate from its comfort zone. This reluctance is prevalent on the record, as the band has the potential to hit metal gold but play it safe. The lead single “Daybreak” has a great chorus riff but it is mired on standard metalcore conventions. It is still one of the better songs on Trust No One and serves as an excellent lead single.

While Devildriver plays it safe on this record, it is understandable as the band has two new members in the fold, the aforementioned Neil Tiemann on guitar and Austin D’Amond on drums. It takes time to grow accustomed to new members and Trust No One is a feeling out record. They are both accomplished musicians and play Devildriver’s brand of metal well. Still, we only hear glimpses of what could be. The band could pull off a decent thrash or melodic death metal track but it does not for whatever reason. There is the possibility that the band takes it up a notch on its next record, but only time will tell.

Trust No One is a Devildriver record. Fans of the band will like it and the group’s detractors will not. There are some cool breakdowns and guitar leads sprinkled on the record, but nothing outstanding. Still, Devildriver soldiers on with 13 years and seven records under its belt. The band’s formula works for it and no point in changing it now.

For news and tour dates check out the band’s website:

http://www.devildriver.com/

CD Review: ‘Rivals’ by Coal Chamber

Oh the 90s. A decade of nu-metal, Hot Topic, black baggy pants, and pseudo-goth fashion. In this haze of black eyeliner and down tuned seven string guitars came Coal Chamber. Coal Chamber never enjoyed the popularity of bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit or Slipknot. Still, the band’s dark imagery and tight rhythms garnered the band a dedicated cult following. The band reunited in 2011 and four years later we have its fourth album, Rivals.

Dez and Co. are all business from the opening track “I.O.U. Nothing.” The track is hard hitting with guitarist Meegs churning out chunky riffs straight from the Nineties. “Bad Blood Between Us” continues the beat down as Dez continues his verbal barrage about an unnamed enemy. The remaining tracks continue in the same vein. “Suffer in Silence” and “The Bridges You Burn” sound like recordings from 1998, so there is nostalgia when hearing these songs. This is a good thing for Coal Chamber fans as the band does not deviate from the formula that initially garnered it popularity. In fact, the band sounds better than ever. The 13 year gap between the band’s last album and tour has not slow it down one bit. The downside, is that Rivals can grow monotonous at times. Nu-metal detractors will criticize Rivals for its lack of variety and heaviness. However, it is doubtful these folks will buy the album at all.

So does Rivals live up to the hype? Yes, without pause. Rivals features everything the band is known for. The riffs, groove and off kilter vocals are up front and clear. Rivals will silence the skeptics who think the album will not live up the band’s earlier releases. It is a solid, consistent comeback record. I highly recommend Rivals for fans of the group and those wanting some nu-metal nostalgia. Coal Chamber’s rivals certainly lit a fire under the band, and for the better.