As a metal head, when you hear the words “Outlaw Country” you may be a little skeptical, for right reasons; but if anyone can prove that Outlaw Country can be metal well that’s Devildriver.
On July 6th the new album from Devildriver, ‘Outlaws ‘Til The End’ will be released. The album takes outlaw country tunes and turns them into a metal anthem. Trust me, I was worried at first, but after listening to the album I can reassure you that this is nothing but raw in your face metal!
What Devildriver has done here is changed the playing grounds. They took some classic outlaw country tracks and put their own power behind them. You don’t need to be a country fan to enjoy this album, as long as you like something that packs a punch, you will be a fan. The album features countless musicians: Wednesday 13, Brock Lindow (36 Crazyfists) Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory), Lee Ving (Fear), Randy Blythe and Mark Morton (Lamb Of God) and none other than John Cash Jr, son of Johnny Cash.
The album starts off strong with ‘Country Heroes’ a Hank Williams song. This song features Hank 3 himself. The track has your heavy hitting double bass, which makes you chug your Jack Daniels and raise your fist in the air. The moment you hear Dez Fafara vocals you realize this is no country song but instead your signature Devildriver.
Track number 2 goes into your classic Willie Nelson tune. It wouldn’t be an outlaw country album if it didn’t feature some Nelson. Devildriver take on ‘Whiskey River.’ For those who know ‘Whiskey River’ it is unbelievably country. When you take the melody away and just focus on the lyrics you soon realize how raw and almost poetic the song is. Devildriver really took full potential of this song and turned the Whiskey River into their own. What I love about this song is you get to hear Lamb of Gods Randy Blythe, a man with an incredible vocal range take on a song that originally is very slow with laid-back tones. There is truly nothing better than watching a casual song become a head banger.
My favourite track on the album is track number 4 “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” This is not your typical Johnny Cash, cowboy melody. Instead it has Dez’s unmistakable voice paired again with Randy Blythe raw vocals. Creating a brutal cowboy. The song will have you screaming ‘Yippie yi ooh Yippie yi yay. “Later on in the song you will also notice the vocals of John Cash Jr, which is the perfect touch to a classic tune.
A song worth noting is ‘Cooperhead Road’ for the soul purpose that this is an upbeat, get on your kicks and go type song. It’s almost funny when you hear that Devildriver is covering the song, but once you hear it, youll stop giggling. Sure youll be moving but in a heavy metal way.
Overall, I was very impressed with this album. To be honest, I went in with low expectations and the album proved me wrong. Devildriver have accomplished the challenging job of taking outlaw country songs and turning them into metal anthems. Its no easy task but Devildriver made it look like a walk in the park.