Its been two years since the release of Devildriver released ’Trust No One’ and their return has them doing something a little different. Outlaws ’Til The End Vol 1’ is The bands 8th studio album and this time they’ve brought some of their friends along in what is a star studded country covers album, a gimmick that works surprisingly well.
Randy Blythe, Burton C Bell, Hank III - Just some of the big names that have offered to add their own flair on new and uplifted versions of various tracks that fall within the ‘country’ genre, be assured though, this is anything but a country record. These songs are definitely Devildriver in all their riffing groovy glory. In fact if you knew nothing about music, in particular the original songs and their artists, you’d perhaps be forgiven for thinking these were not cover songs at all. ‘Country Heroes’ is perfectly placed as the record opener, originally written by Hank III, the man himself provides his unique vocal style along with Dez Fafara himself. Its pure groove metal without losing its country touch and a perfect introductory piece that sets the tone early on.
Its ‘Whiskey River’ however that feels like the song to really get this party started with both Randy Blythe & Mark Morton turning this song into a vicious assault of shredding guitars and flickering speedy double bass drums. Its a surprise early on and one that all fans of either bands will struggle not be delighted with. Those familiar with the original Willie Nelson hit especially ones not partial to a wee bit o metal may be asking themselves where this devil music has come from? Nothing like the original the track, it breaths new life as it gallops 100mph from start to finish and it simply does not let up.
What would an homage to some of the country greats be without some Johnny Cash? 'The Man Comes Around' is treated to a thrashy makeover with the help of Lee Ving of LA based punk rock band FEAR.Its a cover that will absolutely divide the opinions of many.
Outlaws ’til The End comes as a much welcome surprise in the DevilDriver back catalogue, one that benefits from a shake up such as this. Cover albums can sometimes be met with such disdain, and in some cases, deservedly so but DevilDriver bring something a little different to the table and to be honest, as we make our way through the fifth spin of ‘Dad’s Gonna Kill Me’ we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t something great!
Outlaws ’Til The End is available everywhere now.