Groove metal veterans DevilDriver have done it again with their fifth release, Beast. For a band that’s released so many albums in such a short span of time—eight years—they’ve managed to make Beast a moderately compelling release. It isn’t groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly hasn’t left home without its talons out and its teeth sharpened.
Some tracks are absolutely pulverizing, like “Cold Blooded” with its dissonant, penetrating signature guitar line. The heaviness, however, is the coolest part of the release; it’s the melodies that steal the show. They don’t appear as often as they should, but when they do rear their beautiful heads, they’re absolutely wonderful. They’re simple, but they really provide a nice buffer in the mix of heavy thrash grooves that DevilDriver are so beloved for.
The only weak thing about this album is the length; sometimes the songs feel like they’re just going on way too long. The music is mid to fast-paced, but sometimes the intensity of the songs is abated by length of the songs. Strangely enough, none of the songs suffer from filler syndrome, but sometimes it seems like otherwise good songs are plagued with lame riffs. Despite this minor shortcoming this is a fun release that even has some brilliantly catchy lyrical moments, see “blur” for one such moment. Beast is definitely a worthy purchase for fans of heavy metal.