Saturday, April 6, 2013

Device - S/T (2013)

Since the announced hiatus in 2011, I have been waiting for a side project that included at least one of the members of Disturbed. It is an unwritten rule in the metal world that if your band is put in a hiatus for some time or if you get kicked out of a band, you can expect that they will spread their wings in new bands, collaborations or solo efforts. So when the singer David Draiman announced that he would team up with former Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo to create the industrial metal band Device, I was excited, but also worried that Device would suffer from the famous "not as good as the main man's most famous band" syndrome. And those worries was later confirmed after the single "Vilify" was released. It sounded exactly like a Disturbed song with its extensive use of Draiman's vocals, groovy chorus and easily memorable riff. Still liked the song, but it got me really worried that the self titled debut would be a complete rip off of a Disturbed record.

Together with "You Think You Know" and "Penance", "Vilify" sits in the opening of "Device" and just like "Vilify", the other two tracks are pretty similar to the sound that Disturbed has mastered. The only difference is that Device is slightly heavier and Geno's guitar work gives the songs a metallic coating. The opening three are good songs, but they are too similar to what Disturbed has already done, which kind of kills it for me.

The next song is a cover "Close My Eyes Forever", that was originally made by Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne. And to back up David in this song, we have a guest appearance by Lzzy Hale from Halestorm. David and Lzzy makes a pretty good couple and the cover is solid, but I feel that the band could have made this cover a little more personal. Now they just added some background sounds and a heavier guitar, which is not enough when it comes to the originality. If you thought that Lzzy Hale would be the only guest musician in this album then you would be wrong. Besides from Lzzy we also have Serj Tankian (System of A Down, Serj Tankian) and Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) in "Out of Line", Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) in "Opinion", M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) in "Haze" and Glenn Hughes (ex-Deep Purple) in "Through It All". Out of these guest artist, I would say that Serj did the finest job with his appearance on "Out of Line". His voice is, as always, stunning and he gives the song that special edge that makes it one of the front runners in this album.

The sound in "Device" takes a whole new turn after the cover to a more darker and slower path. It is more different but you still see the Disturbed influences in these songs as well which is a little sad when you think about it. I love Disturbed and I think that David has a killer voice, but would it kill him to really try something completely different? We have already heard you sing like this and write music like that so try to expand your wings instead of hiding them behind your back. Fortunately, we have at least one song that is trying to stand up with a different sound. "Haze" is pretty much typical industrial stoner music and together with M. Shadows's edgy voice, we got ourselves a really edgy and groovy song that should please those who wants to see Draiman in a different spot. "Through It All" also shows some new intentions and I especially love that little faster instrumental part in the middle of the song.

The only reason I enjoyed the debut album by Device is for my love of both David Draiman and Disturbed. The music is well made and you can tell that experienced musicians have created this album, but the problem is that the front man has already done this with another band before. I would have loved that David could try out some new vocal styles and a sound that is far away from his comfort zone, but he did not make it so I just have to be happy with what I got. Device works fine for those of you who has withdrawal for Disturbed, but when the real deal is ready to return, Device will be left to rot in the attic of forgotten side projects.

Songs worthy of recognition: Out of Line, Haze, You Think You Know

Rating: 5,5/10 Opinions

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