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Album Reviews : Devil You Know – They Bleed Red

By on December 11, 2015

533676I was really critical and negative towards They Bleed Red the first time I listened through this album. I guess it was because I was still attuned to the almost industrial grooves of songs like “Shut It Down.” This is definitely not the first album, nor even an extension to the first. Devil You Know seem to have given some thought as to where they want to go in terms of no longer being a project and being thought of as an actual band.

Devil You Know are a groove metal band comprised of ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones, ex-All Shall Perish guitarist Francesco Artusato, ex-Bleeding Through bassist Ryan Wombacher, and ex-Fear Factory/Devolved drummer John Sankey. Considering that I have been quite a fan of all four of those bands at one point in time or another, it’s surprising how different these guys sound from their original incarnations. It rubbed me up the wrong way from the get go because of that. Over time, though, I began warming to the newer direction, and I began to take it for what it is; a simple, very basic, middle of the road metal album.

Very rarely an album from a super group set-up combines all of the musicians’ influences, but after a thorough listen it’s discernible that everyone in the Devil You Know camp have contributed about equally. From listening to the almost mechanical-style of drumming from Sankey, to the metalcore touches of Wombacher, the creative solos that Artusato seems to spew forth with ease, to the unforgettable vocals of Jones; this album wasn’t one sided at all. This was a little off-putting at first, but after a while it becomes an admirable characteristic of the album.

The first three songs are pretty likeable but not awe-inspiring. For me, the album didn’t really pick up until “Stay of Execution,” which kicked me in the balls for doubting the chemistry and composition of Devil You Know. “Break The Ties” is a little more restrained, but won me back over with the strong  chorus. “Shattered Silence” wasn’t a song that really worked for me, but carries a strong enough chorus (what is it with these guys and choruses?) to listen to a few times. “Master of None” gives off some more technical grooves in the verses. The last few songs are unfortunately the weakest on the album, which is unfortunate given that the band spent nine whole tracks that were overall pretty likeable to drop off in quality at the very crescendo.

They Bleed Red isn’t an album I’d imagine many people to instantly love, but I’d suggest a little patience and a few listens through, and I guarantee you’ll warm to it. Hopefully after the experience of writing two albums and touring together, Devil You Know will only continue to improve, and prove that a supergroup can survive in both the eyes of fans and critics alike.

About

Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode