I was trying to think of a phrase to describe DevilDriver when I opened the press release accompanying their latest album and, there it was, “metal institution”. It is those two words that describe the American heavy metal titans down to a tee but, at the same time, pre-warn the listener what they can expect from Winter Kills. Yes, Dez Fafara may be dallying with his buddies in Coal Chamber again but, as Winter Kills smashes into track two “Ruthless”, it’s obvious that he’s lost none of that burning desire to produce some of the most raging pit anthems around.

Described by Fafara as “the most coherent DevilDriver record to date”, this album rages from start to finish. Aside from the Awolnation cover tagged on the end, there may be little on here to surprise DevilDriver fans but, really, we’re talking about a band here whose anthems have ignited some of the most insane circle pits that the live circuit has ever witnessed so, do you want ballads or do you want balls-to-the-wall, drenched in sweat ragers like “Gutted”? The whole world knows the answer to that question which is why Winter Kills is just track after track of thrashing, grooving, head banging heavy metal just the way me, you, Dez Fafara, and DevilDriver love it. From “The Appetite” to “Carings Overkill” to “Tripping Over Tombstones”, Winter Kills is a 100% all meat, no veg metal album that will give any heavy metal fan their full fix of riffs, blast beats and throat-shredding vocals.

As mentioned already, the surprise on the album is left to the end as Fafara and the ‘Drivers plump for a cover of Awolnation’s “Sail” to bring Winter Kills to a finish. It may be a strange move and one that will leave DevilDriver fans scratching their heads, but it is a song that is clearly close to Fafara’s heart and, given the DevilDriver twist, brings this brutal metal album to an epic conclusion.

Track Listing:

01. Oath Of The Abyss
02. Ruthless
03. Desperate Times
04. Winter Kills
05. The Appetite
06. Gutted
07. Curses And Epitaphs
08. Carings Overkill
09. Haunting Refrain
10. Tripping Over Tombstones
11. Sail

Run Time: 50:43
Release Date: August 26, 2013

Check out the song “The Appetite”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.