Devildriver – Winter Kills


The theme is cold, ice cold but DevilDriver is an act flaming, burning, lighting the way for numerous acts to follow in these monolithic and groovin’ footsteps. Now it’s fair to say that DevilDriver have become a household name of the metal genre, having been releasing music since 2003. Sure, there’s more to it, front-man Dez Fafara has been on the hard-rock seen since Coal Chamber, who is an act infamous by its own rights. In fact, ‘Winter Kills’ is the band’s sixth studio full-length and on the back on an already established sound, their 2013 record only fits in with the rest, a piece of the puzzle that follows the logic of doing “the outside pieces first”. DevilDriver is a steady act, and since the self-titled in 2003 they’ve put out a release every two years or so and with each release, the band showed something different, without forgetting who they are as a band. They went from nitty gritty, to nitty gritty and angry to angry and polished. The song-writing got steadily deeper and the instrumental aspects of tracks found themselves verbose in a technical sense. What ever the history of this band one thing’s for certain, DevilDriver aren’t going to slip away into mindless nothingness. True to form, DevilDriver’s ‘Winter Kills’  is a step forward for a band that refuses to conform or stagnate. That’s not to say that this band is doing anything, anything different or innovative from their previous records, but they offer something different.

What’s instantly noticeable is the band’s use of ‘hooks’ in their chorus’ and verses. DevilDriver have always had instantly catchy, repeated hooks. From the band’s debut and tracks like “Meet The Wretched”, to the band’s 2011 release, ‘Beast’ and “Black Soul Choir” the band has opted for the obvious lyrical phrasing that allowed tracks to be constantly memorable. This time around the hooks are still present, but a whole lot less obvious. They don’t stick out, slap people and return when needed, instead the track-titles maintain a sense of equilibrium, making an appearance in a more subtle way. This way the music is equalized throughout the band’s 2013 release, ‘Winter Kills’. The music to lyrics ratio becomes more balanced and the album as a whole becomes all the more cohesive.

Polarized by the ever-changing and constantly growing heavy metal scene, there’s something about DevilDriver that surpasses the waves of monotony surfacing almost every day. ‘Winter Kills’ is yet another album in the band’s growing catalogue that proves that their brand of groove is distinctly theirs, whilst changing enough to prevent itself from being another “DevilDriver album clone”. The band grows, develops and some-how manages to bring something different to the proverbial table each time. ‘Winter Kills’ is the next logical step in the band’s music, it’s safe, but not quite as friendly as fans would expect. On the other hand, it’s not going to create surprise, just a solid follow up from a solidly solid band.


1. The Oath

2. Ruthless

3. Desperate Times

4. Winter Kills

5. The Appetite

6. Gutted

7. Curses and Epitaph’s

8. Caring’s Overkill

9. Hunting Refrain

10. Tripping Over Tombstones

11. Sail

12. Shudder (Bonus Track)

13. Back Down to the Grave (Bonus Track)

About Robert (285 Articles)
Site Owner and Admin, From Australia - your local metal loving maniac. Swinging the Dead since 1992. Want to get in touch?

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