Devil You Know
They Bleed Red
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Take one part Fear Factory, one part All Shall Perish, and one part Killswitch Engage, mix them together vigorously and what you will end up with is metalcore ‘supergroup’ Devil You Know. Featuring the talents of Howard Jones (lead vocals), Francesco Artusato (guitar), John Sankey (drums) and Ryan Wombacher (bass guitar, vocals), this is a band that takes the formula that each of the aforementioned bands are known for and runs with it. Hard. There are very little surprises here, frankly if you are familiar with any of the previously mentioned acts then you know what you’re getting into here. It’s pretty straight forward metalcore, for better or worse.
They Bleed Red, the band’s second album, starts off solid enough, with the ferocious “Consume the Damned” which is nearly textbook metalcore. Vocalist Howard Jones is likely best known for his dry, raspy shout, but the man truly does possess a powerful and surprisingly melodic baritone when he actually decides to use it. When he flexes that particular muscle is when They Bleed Red transcends run of the mill mediocrity and achieves something great. “The Way We Die”, “Your Last Breath”, and “Break The Ties” are prime examples of this. Unfortunately those moments are weighed against tracks like “Stay of Execution”, “Shattered Silence” and “Master of None” which are generally loud, harsh, and unbridled in their ferocity. And that, of course, is the formula which made bands like Killswitch Engage popular. It’s a niche that all of these band members have filled in the past and there is no faulting them for it. But it’s a very limited field. There’s only so much you can do with metalcore. The one track that shines like a beacon is “Let The Pain Take Hold”. The band slows the tempo down a bit but loses nothing of their heaviness, and Jones’ vocals skills are superbly exhibited. The man can scream, sure, but he can also sing with consummate passion and technique. “Searching for the Sun” is another prime example of just what this band is capable of when they up the melody and turn down the rage.
Would I recommend this album? Well, that depends. Do you already like metalcore? Or any of the band members’ former bands? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll appreciate what Devil You Know has to offer. If you’re looking for complexity and the sort of album that pushes boundaries and defies genres then keep on looking. Here there be metalcore, albeit of a skillfully executed nature, but very little more than that is to be found.
Reviewed by: Farron1340