Devildriver – Trust No One

pic by ben hoffmann

pic by ben hoffmann

There is no mistaking Trust No One as a Devildriver incitement. From the recognisable throat scarring vocals squalls of Dez Fafara to the anthemic rhythmic antagonism of bassist Diego Ibarra and drummer Austin D’Amond, through the grooved and sonically caustic imagination of guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann to the pure carnivorous roar of the groove metaller’s sound, the Californian’s seventh album is familiar Devildriver animosity. Yet there is something different to the beast; its body slimmer, almost stripped back to the core elements of the band’s sound whilst its contagion of venomous grooves has become even more creatively vocal and more virulently compelling. Whether Trust No One in this state is the band’s best proposal to date is under debate but it is fair to say that the album might just be the most physically and emotionally enjoyable encounter with Devildriver yet.

Linking up with producer Mark Lewis again at the Audio Hammer Studios, Devildriver show their intent from the first seconds of opener Testimony Of Truth, the want to savage the senses with hellacious rock ‘n’ roll. An inviting groove winds around the initial hefty jabs of D’Amond first with already the climate of the song a fiery challenge which only imposes further as the song evolves and Fafara’s raw tones further fire up the spirit of the song. It is prime Devildriver incitement but already devilish designs of melody and grooving is gripping the imagination, bringing individual character to each twist and turn here and in due course, to each subsequent proposal within Trust No One.

The thick and potent start is quickly surpassed by the barbarous exploits of Bad Deeds. The torrential assault of the invasive beats and the ear accosting rapping nature of the vocals aligns perfectly with a sultry melodic weave spun by the guitars within their own corrosive tide of predacious riffs. It is gripping stuff, irresistible hostility fuelled by a drama and imagination individual to that of the band’s previous outings. The track’s impressive success is soon matched by that of the even more grievous My Night Sky, though its own animus of emotion and intensity is tempered by the equally potent magnetism colouring the web of sonic invention and suggestiveness.

Devildriver_CMYK_RingMasterReviewThree tracks in and already the senses are numbing and energies breathless such the force and creative weight of the tempests. No respite is given though as This Deception, from a waspish coaxing round melancholic keys, tears into the listener with nostrils flared over a rabid rhythmically jagged ire spewing jaw and in turn, Above It All crawls all over the senses and into the psyche with what can be best described as a swarming surge of ravenous belligerence and aural irritability. Both tracks are not short on their own array of expectations defusing and imagination sparking essences either, the first through seductively flirtatious grooves and the latter with exotically hued strings and melodies which entice and bewitch even within the raging storm of the outstanding ravishment.

Daybreak spins some bluesy grooves into its maelstrom next, they colluding with addictively heavier cousins as riffs and vocals unite for some savaging with the backing of infectiously mercurial rhythms. Spreitzer and Tiemann simply shine throughout Trust No One, here especially as they conjure a landscape as unpredictable and fascinating as it is blistering, while in the album’s title track, they help shape a tempest as sonically elegant as it is uncomfortably threatening.

Arguably the nastiest and most uncomfortable track on the release is Feeling Ungodly, though it too is unafraid to spring some of the catchiest grooves and hooks across the whole of Trust No One while devouring the senses in body and emotion. Again, it is hard not to be swept up by the spiteful air and invasively infectious nature of the excellent track before Retribution grows from a melodically alluring proposal into one which nags and growls like a rabid dog infested with the inescapable irritancy of niggly grooves and the biting incessancy of beats and riffs. It is an irresistible incursion followed with equal ferocity and compelling adventure by For What Its Worth and an adversarial and merciless sonic malefaction which might not quite live up to many of its predecessors but leaves only a craving for more.

As we said at the start, whether Trust No One is Devildriver’s final hour we cannot say yet, even after a dozen listens, but it is hard to remember many encounters with them bringing as much raw enjoyment and the same kind of urge to go straight back into the turbulence as their new album.

Trust No One is out now via Napalm Records on CD @ http://devildrivertrustnoone.com/  and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/trust-no-one/id1091651702?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

http://www.devildriver.com/   https://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Pete Ringmaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hopes Die Last – Trust No One

There has been quite a lot of hype building over Italian post hardcore metal band Hopes Die Last  since their formation in 2004, especially after their debut album Six Years Home of 2009, though to be fair even with their previous couple of EP’s Aim For Tomorrow (2005) and Your Face Down Now (2007) they were gathering strong interest and responses. With their second album Trust No One due for release via Standby Records on February 14th the buzz surrounding them has intensified but are they worthy and is the new album as staggering as many are claiming?

The simple answer is pretty much so, Trust No One is outstanding. To say the band is the future of post hardcore or metal is stretching things but as a release the album is a vibrant, irrepressible and deeply satisfying release. Hope Die Last have created a release that is relentless, with crushing riffs, senses scorching melodies, and high octane energy driving its heart, it excites and impresses. The album also comes with a defined intent to explore and diversity within itself and individual tracks which though it is not always completely successful is a highly commendable direction giving intrigue and unpredictability to each song.

The album as a whole is not groundbreaking but it is certainly is more adventurous and unique in thought than most other post hardcore releases. Trust No One offers something different and surprising throughout. At times these intentions work better than at other moments but there is never a song that one thinks ‘heard that before’ or easily loses focus within. From the opening explosion that is ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’ to the imaginative if less successful closer ‘Keep Your Hands Off’ the album rumbles and swaggers with confidence and eagerness. The opening track is aggressive and smoothly melodic, the band finding the perfect blend allowing both avenues to expand seamlessly alongside each other. Post hardcore, metal, industrial and elements of melodic hardcore rage within its skin and with the excellent vocals of Daniele Tofan backed equally by those of bassist Marco “Becko” Calanca, their combination of  gut bursting ferociousness and a smoothly flowing clean attack impressive, the song is impossible to deny or avoid getting swept up in its energy.

The harsher ‘Sidney Shown’ and brutal power of ‘Unleash Hell’ raise the intensity and quality further, the latter of the two a brutal beast that pummels with agonistic riffs spewing from the of guitars Marco Mantovani and Luigi Magliocca and gladiatorial rhythms from drummer Ivan Panella. At times the track thrusts some electro inspired bestiality as found in the likes of The Browning into the fray without ever decreasing the bludgeoning of the ear, even the clean vocals cannot diminish the intensity.

As mentioned Hopes Die Last admirably bring diversity to each track to make the album constantly intriguing within the sweltering heat from its blistering tracks. ‘Life After Me Life After You’ offers a softer passion fuelled touch to the power whilst ‘Bill’s Got Only A Pair Of Queens’ carries distinct harmonies that dazzle over the insurgent riffs and directness beneath, and there is also the piano led ballad ‘The Same Old Fears’ which brings a respite to the aggression, all showing the thought and creativity from the band to offer something different.

Rivalling ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’ and ‘Unleash Hell’ for best track is ‘Air Raid Siren’. The song is a caustic violation of the senses, its incessant riffs and acidic guitars alongside a great moody bassline wonderfully numbs the ear. The clean vocals and scorched melodies are as damaging as the assaultive barrage of power. It is a gem and these three tracks alone make the album worth a visit but Trust No One has much more to offer and all impressive. Even the cover of the Katy Perry song ‘Fireworks’ is more than agreeable.

Trust No One is an excellent release and brings a fresh breath to post hardcore. Hopes Die Last  has not opened up new avenues for the genre but has given it food for thought. The album may not hit deep enough to end up on album of the year lists come December but it will certainly make the months up to a decision thoroughly enjoyable and energetic with constant revisits.

https://www.facebook.com/hopesdielastofficial

RingMaster 02/02/2012

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