Style: Thrash
Release date: 18 February, 2011
Playing time: 68:00

When the news of former Coal Chamber singer Dez Fafara's re-emergence onto the metal scene with a band that was decidedly more metal that the defunct nu-metal combo, I'm sure that many thought that this wouldn't really work. And, oh, how he proved us all wrong. From the eponymously entitled debut to 2009's 'Pray for Villains', DevilDriver has helped pushing the bar for modern thrash metal higher and higher along with e.g. Lamb of God and Machine Head, each album showing new sides of the band.

Live, the band has been more than convincing too, earning their dues especially in Europe. I have fond memories of a With Full Force festival in 2006 where I stood in amazement and witnessed what Dez had become. It was quite different from the front man from Coal Chamber I'd seen in Glasgow and at the Ozzfest in Milton Keynes nine and eight years before. I have to admit that I adored Coal Chamber and therefore was rather suspecious of this new outfit, but DevilDriver would turn out to buried directly in my metal roots. Ace!

'Beast' is in my view not a step forward in DevilDriver's artistic development, not by far to the same degree as 'Pray for Villains' was compared to 'The Last Kind Words' and that album in comparison to 'The Fury...'.

I think 'Beast' should be seen as a kind of status album. This is where DevilDriver sums up what they've learned over the past albums. It holds all the qualities of the former albums without an awful lot of experimentation. It has that characteristic, sweeping flow of the guitars, hard as nails and rock solid drumming by the multi-talented John Boecklin, and Fafara's almost-screaming, yet understandable vocal that you'd recognise anywhere.

One song eases seamlesly into the next and together they form an album that appears like a grooving wave of metal, or like steel pearls on a wire. The only pearl that you'd expect to stand out on the wire is the cover of the alternative country band 16 Horsepower's song Black Soul Choir, but, f*ck off, it is one of the best cover songs I've heard in a long time! Very cool!

The special edition comes with three bonus tracks and a DVD with five music videos and 'You May Know us from the Stage', a one-and-a-half hour documentary on the band's history. For fans of the band, this is a real treat. For me, the documentary is a bit longish, but, hey, I didn't skip it in the end, did I? Go for the special edition - it is definitely worth your pocket money!

'Beast' is a must-buy for fans of modern thrash!


01. Dead to Rights
02. Bring the Fight (to the Floor)
03. Hardened
04. Sh*tlist
05. Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)
06. You Make Me Sick
07. Coldblooded
08. Blur
09. The Blame Game
10. Black Soul Choir
11. Crowns of Creation
12. Lend Myself to the Night

13. Lost
14. Fortune Favors the Brave
15. Grinf**ked (Live)

Label: Roadrunner Records
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 60/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: 22 February, 2011