Monday, November 16, 2015

Devil You Know - They Bleed Red (2015)

Okay, I do not know what kind of biology lesson the guys in Devil You Know has been too, but if they tried to create some mystique or originality to their album title, I have some bad news for them. We all bleed red, it is as common as super groups. So yeah, the title is corny and close to flat out stupid, but the band does keep the same color palette from their debut, "The Beauty of Destruction", creating a stable theme in the cover department that is recognizable for the band. That is something, I guess.

For those of you who missed out on who these guys are, Devil You Know is a super group consisting of Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), John Sankey (Fear Factory, Divine Heresy), Fransesco Artusato (All Shall Perish) and Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through). Unlike 90% of all other super groups, the band actually created something interesting in "The Beauty of Destruction", mixing classic mainstream metal core melodies with much heavier vibes.

Even if there has only been one year since the last album, "They Bleed Red" displays a different approach. Gone are almost all of the mainstream songs, and left is the heavier material. You will not find a new "Seven Years Alone" in this album, but this does not mean that the songs lacks some catchy hooks to them. Songs like "The Way We Die" and "Your Last Breath" contains choruses that are easy to hum along to, but still holds a fair amount of heavy beats to it so the mainstream rock radio stations will think twice before letting them out in the air ways.

One thing the band has improved on is creating a more stable and even outing in "They Bleed Red". All of the songs holds about the same standard of quality, which certainly is nice for the ones that prefers to listen to entire albums. If you however are a guy who does not have that kind of patience, and worry that the individual tracks are bland, then let me calm you by saying that this album does have some tracks that shines. "Stay of Execution" has a aggression that is very much alike the one we see in Machine Head, which of course is a good thing, and songs like "Shattered Silence" and "Consume The Damned" keeps this aggressive flame running wild throughout the album.

I must also mention the bonus material, especially the cover of the Survivor classic "Eye of The Tiger". I do think the guys had the right idea when making this cover, the instrumentation really transform this classic into a modern metal song, but the over the top vocals by Howard Jones keeps me from loving it, but it could also be that I am dead sick of the song after playing it over a million times in Rock Band. Anyway, the other two bonus tracks, "I Am Alive" and "We Live", are fine, enjoyable songs, but they do not quite fit in with the rest of the album, which is why I think they were left as bonus material.

"They Bleed Red" tend to be a bit monotone in its sound, even with the slower "Let The Pain Take Hold" being there to break things up, and I also think that the first half of the album overtakes the second half in both memorability and quality, but the album is too good to let these negative things be a baggage. The band has done something that almost all super groups has failed at, creating a sound that fans can identify them with without involving any of their other bands. Devil You Know are taking the right steps in establishing a permanent place in the music business, and they are doing so by giving out stellar albums.

Songs worthy of recognition: Shattered Silence, Consume The Damned, Stay of Execution

Rating: 7,5/10 Masters of None

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