I am a huge DevilDriver fan. On top of that, I am a huge Dez fan. I know, it may not seem it, especially after slamming all three full-length Coal Chamber albums on this site. Either way, despite how my critical judgement handled those releases, I’ve always been, and always will enjoy those albums, and hope for some kind of reunion at some point that I know damn well will never happen. When the band broke up, I was beside myself considering the third full-length was actually really good and showing the band moving away from many of the simple repetitive things I wasn’t too fond of on their first two CDs. I was introduced to the band with the album Chamber Music when I was in highschool, and it wound up being a huge step in shaping my musical tastes. It also kinda became a huge step as to why everone thought I’d be the next Columbine, as I started to try to mimick Dez’s fashion sense. Trust me, it doesn’t look good on a 15 year old 250 lb teenage boy with acne. Buuh.
Anyway, I went gaga when I heard the first DevilDriver CD. I felt whole with how much Dez progressed, though still lingered on all the things I loved about Coal Chamber. It have me goosebumps…and a terrible migraine most of the time, but in a good way, mostly from sitting outside WSFX FM with my fellow metal co-hosts and just blasting the hell out of it in my 1992 Chevy Lumina (I believe that was the year they made the battletank I drove). Since then, I’ve made it a point to buy every DevilDriver CD on, or damn near the street date. Beast was no exception, ordering it through Amazon and getting it on release date. I popped that sucker in my CD play, hopped in my car, drove around, and…well…didn’t know what to think really. I hadn’t heard any of the songs posted on Roadrunner Record’s website, as I didn’t want to taint the surprise I was sure I’d go through upon opening that digipack and slipping the special edition CD with bonus tracks into the player.
My first thought was depression. The first two songs went by, and I really was not impressed. I appreciated Pray for Villains and the direction the band took, though on a personal level I just didn’t really think it was their best effort on a personal fan level and not in a critical manner. The more I listened to it, the more I really didn’t know what to think, especially when “Shitlist” came on. I mean, it’s not bad. I wasn’t in the seat thinking it was awesomely awesome either, but it definitely wasn’t bad. It felt more like a let down because of the fact that it sounded like the band just dropped the growth they did on the two previous albums, and tried to recapture the “Mallcore” sound of their earlier release, except just make it heavier. While a noble idea, it just hit me as a huge step back for the band. Musically, it failed to impress me, which is sad considering I’m a rabid fan and stood outside in the rather cold weather in Allentown, PA to meet the band only to be snuffed by one of the members and then have the band not even have the courtesy to come out and thank the three of us who remained though that member who snuffed me sure had the time to sign two girl’s chest but completely ignore me when I asked him for his autograph from RIGHT BEHIDN HIM! (Nothing like a fan scorned, eh?) Then again it was Thrash and Burn, bunch of kids, they looked pissed, there were signs making it clear no one was to be on the bus not affiliated with DevilDriver, so I’m sure they were pissed. Either way, the next show I saw them, Dez gave me a thumbs up during “Clouds of California” at the Eleanore Rigby’s venue, which he started by talking about the girl that waited for him back home.
But, I digress, as I’m rambling on now. Since Beast arrived, I’ve listened to this album two times in full, and it still has yet to really grow on me. Hopefully when I go all critical on it’s plastic ass I’ll find more reasons to enjoy the release and appreciate it more then I do now. So, here’s to hoping. But, for now, it’s an album that is staying more in the backseat of my car for now, mostly because it’s not really working for me right now as a casual listener.
Article based on a physical copy provided by personal funds.