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Pray For Villains
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It seems to be another extraordinary year for metal releases. A true heavy metal resurgence hasn't been seen since the since the early eighties, by the visionaries that recorded and played hard and fast. And, really meant it. Before it became the hair and make-up freak show that it became. But, DevilDriver seem to be riding this wave of the new shit full blast and producing another thrashing masterpiece. Guitar shredding (Jeff Kendrick, Mike Spreitzer) , double-bass machine-gun-drumming (John Boeklin), vocals that resonate loudly with the music are back! I wondered how long it would take to catch-on with the kids. (Ozzfest was beginning to look like a senior-citizens day at a Woodstock reunion of some sort. But, Mayhem Festival has blown-up since beginning just last year.) But the genre is back, and back in a massive way. Lead throat Dez Fefara pushes the envelope of his boundaries with great success on this senior effort by he and the members of DevilDriver. Fefara's verbal libretto is unforbearing and devilishly wicked. Listen to Pray For Villains kick-off title track. The video is wicked-as-hell as well. The simplistic approach of lively band shots mixed with a slight nuance of digital technology makes for a great piece of media. Then they can flip-it into a whole other animal like with the slight prog influence during the bridge in "Pure Sincerity." The lead guitar-work isn't the huge break it once was, but in nu-metal flows more with the music's personality. For example, the sweeping arpeggios that ride with the rhythm-guitar tracks in "Resurrection Blvd." as the meat of the song are exemplary definitions of thrash metal today: The solo's match the music perfectly, and quite enthusiastically. "Forgiveness Is A Six Gun" is another cut that really lashes out from the speakers. The dark, Pantera-esque single-note, picked chords which, explode into a huge hook and bend that's quite a wrathful ride. The tacet-ing clean guitar solo that co-occcur with, and throughout the song displays how much DevilDriver has grown on their fourth full-length release as metallic forgers they've become. "Back With A Vengeance" is another track that has also got that "extra-something" that really delivers an unrepeatable experience when listening to this Santa Barbara-based group. Other highlights of this release include the thrashing "Fate Stepped In," the monster-stomp of "I've Been Sober" and the sonic-pulsating of "I See Belief." ...Villains is the quintet's most visceral, and luminous effort to date. And, will go down as one of the better metal albums of 2009. Hopefully, awakening many unknowing sleeping-heads, and propelling DD to new level of well-deserved fame.


The special-edition release Pray For Villains contains four extra tracks ("Self Affliction," "Dust By Destiny," "Damning The Heavens" and "Wasted Years"), and comes with different artwork than the standard release. A behind- the scenes look at the making Pray For Villains is also accompanied on DVD. A must-have for you hardcore metal-maniacs! - Gigz Giger

RATING: 10/11

Album Releases

Pray For Villains

Pray For Villains (Special Edition)

The Last Kind Words

The Fury Of Our Makers Hand (Special Edition)

The Fury Of Our Makers Hand