Posted on by Oran

Dez Fafara’s DeviDriver finally get round to unleashing Volume 2 of their “Dealing With Demons” album saga, pulling way more punches with this outing.

[Album Artwork: Johnny Jones at COMA]

Back in 2020 Californian Groove Metal titans DevilDriver gave us ‘Dealing With Demons Vol. 1’, and promised us a follow up in ‘Vol. 2’ soon after, but due to band line changes, and head honcho, Dez Fafara almost leaving this mortal coil, due to a very severe bout of Covid, they are back and sounding more DevilDriver than they did on Vol. 1.

We were first greeted with lead single ’Through The Depths’ a couple of months ago and upon first impressions this felt more like the Devildriver from days of old. On Vol. 1, Dez experimented with some clean vocals on the track ‘Wishing’, and unlike Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe who has in recent years brought in some level of melody to open arms, sadly the harmonious crooning just wasn’t meant to be for our Dez and thankfully he left all that nonsense on Vol. 1.

Album opener, ‘I Have No Pity’ wastes no time jumping into a full on head bobbing groove monster and feels familiar yet fresh. ‘Mantra’ is one of the best DevilDriver songs I have heard in years, harking back to 2005’s, ’The Fury of Our Makers Hand’ sound and feel, as does ’Nothing Lasts Forever’, a pummelling staccato intro/verse that has a chorus that again sounds like old school DevilDriver. Three songs in and this is already better than ‘Vol. 1‘, in my opinion.

Through The Depths’ has an infectious melody throughout, with an almost Black Metal feel to it, and other tracks like, ‘Summoning’, and ‘It’s a Hard Truth’ are equal in their balance of groove and ferocity. With line up changes happening between the release of this album duo is one of the other contributing factors, and the welcome return of original bass player Jon Miller, plus new additions, Alex Lee on guitar, and Davier Pérez, bring a very fresh and polished feel to the album.

Lyrically throughout the album this feels a much more personal recollection of Dez’s recent experiences, an almost reawakening if you will, with lines like; “all delusion is just an illusion”, and “live fully while you may!”, on ‘It’s a Hard Truth’.

I feel ‘Dealing With Demons Vol. 1′ could have been a better album had this line up been involved, but alas, where Vol. 1 fell short, Vol. 2 is far better, and a more rounded body of work, sounding like the song writing team here really get what DevilDriver have been missing for a very long time. This is by far the most DevilDriver sounding album since 2011’s, ‘Beast

Albeit, short with only nine tracks present, (unlike previous albums), there is no weak link here. For a band now over twenty years into their career, to still churn out a blistering banger of an album is rather impressive, to say the least.  8/10

Order your copy here, or ask your local record store to order for you.

[Photo Credit: Jeremy Saffer]

DJ Pennell 2023