REVIEW: DEVIL YOU KNOW – “They Bleed Now”
The past few years have been particularly prosperous for Devil You Know since their formation in 2012, with their debut record The Beauty of Destruction achieving substantial success in addition to being signed to Nuclear Blast Records (Slayer, Hatebreed, Suicide Silence) in 2013. Now the band is back with their second studio effort They Bleed Now, which continues on the metalcore theme that the group adopted on their first album.
The album roars open to a flying start with the record’s introductory track “Consume the Damned”, which features a mix of both melodically clean and brutally unclean vocals from ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones. The song serves as a satisfying start to the album, before launching into “The Way We Die” which introduces Jones’ recognisable Killswitch-era vocals for the first time on the record. The guitar work on “The Way We Die” also adds an impressive element to the mix, while a nice double-bass moment in the song also adds to the ferocity of the overall track.
The album’s third track is “Your Last Breath” which follows a particularly enjoyable rhythm pattern before introducing Howard’s vocals once more which again bounce back and forth between heavy growls and his signature singing. Track number four on the album is called “Stay of Execution” which was released as the record’s first promotional single in September. Opening with a guitar-based intro, “Stay of Execution” is particularly aggressive and ferocious before entering another chorus which contains melodic singing. They Bleed Red’s fifth and sixth tracks, entitled “Break the Ties” and “Shattered Silence”, continue the record’s aggressive musical theme, with the two tracks being among the best on the album.
“Let the Pain Take Hold” is definitely one of the record’s slowest musical compositions, with nothing holding its introduction together apart from Jones’ seemingly tortured vocals and a simple repetitive guitar part. The rhythm section kicks in as the song’s first chorus starts, giving the song its individual character. A guitar sound that is particularly reminiscent of 1980s thrash is present during the song, meaning that this song owes a debt to various generations of excellent American metal. The track is also notable due to its lyrics, which contain the album’s title.
Track number 9 on the album is “Searching for the Sun”, which sees vocalist Howard Jones return back to his signature Killswitch Engage vocals that made Jones’ time in that band so memorable. The guitar work of Francesco Artusato is a notable part of the song, especially in terms of the song’s guitar solo. The track that follows, entitled “How the End Shall Be”, is a powerful musical statement accompanied by aggressive drumming and Jones’ heavier vocals. It is clear that “How the End Shall Be” will be an adrenaline-fuelled addition to the band’s live shows if they play this song live in the future. Finally, the album’s closing track “Broken by the Cold” opens with another slow-paced introduction just like “Let the Pain Take Hold”, before easing the listener in with a gradually building drum pattern and Jones’ familiar vocals, both clean and unclean. All in all, the track fits as a suitable conclusion to Devil You Know’s second studio album, They Bleed Red.
They Bleed Red is available via Nuclear Blast Records on November 6, 2015. The record is essential to anyone who enjoyed Devil You Know’s first album, as well as fans of the Howard Jones-era of Killswitch Engage.