DEVIL YOU KNOW – They Bleed Red
Out: November 6th
DEVIL YOU KNOW Line up:
Howard Jones | vocals
Francesco Artusato | guitar
Ryan Wombacher | bass
John Sankey | drums
When Howard Jones returned to the microphone helping to create a new band, Devil You Know, back in 2012, everyone was stoked! For the man, his health and for the world to not lose a vocalist of his ability, his return was met with an air of expectation but also trepidation. Gone was his spot as head honcho of Killswitch Engage, at the time of his departure perhaps the biggest metalcore band on the planet. The band’s debut, 2014’s, The Beauty of Destruction was a well-crafted release and comeback from the big guy and some talented support cast, although it maybe missed that killer punch in amongst an array of metalcore releases around that time. Fast forward 18 months and the band are set to return and unfurl album number two, They Bleed Red, and if one word could describe the sophomore effort, then ‘powerful’ immedidiately springs to mind.
You needn’t wait long before this ‘power’ hits. First track, ‘Consume the Damned’ slams you right between the eyes. Delivered with the force of a 2×4 to the back of the head, drummer John Sankey’s incredibly skilful double kicks set the scene before Jones takes the reigns delivering an astonishingly brutal vocal performance. This is Jones in full ‘manimal’ guise, dominant and forthright and with Josh Wilbur’s (Lamb of God, All That Remains, Gojira) epic production it hits the speakers, as stated, like an explosion.
The recently released single, ‘The Way We Die’ follows, Jones imploring, “Will you stand and be counted”? The clean chorus cuts in seamlessly in a track that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Killswitch Engage’s, The End of Heartache. Another thing that stands out on They Bleed Red is guitarist, Francesco Artusato’s impeccable hooks. All across the album Artusato simply slays pushing a generic metalcore genre into more levels, more genre’s and combining beautifully with Jones’ manic approach. ‘Your Last Breath’ a great example of Artusato’s soaring impact, from the subtle intro to killer solo.
Where Jones goes in ‘heavy’ or hits a more beastly tone, the tracking follows suit, pummelling the Devil You Know sound into that metalcore outfit we all longed it to be. ‘Stay of Execution’ the first single hits hardest, though ‘Shattered Silence’ and ‘How the End Shall Be’ are not far behind, each frenetic, each worthy headliners on their own. ‘Shattered Silence’ even sounding thrash-like with a finger bleeding riff that implores Sankey to sink his teeth into some feverish drumming.
They Bleed Red is not all power, however, therein lies some subtle submissions. For instance, ‘Let the Pain Take Hold’ has Jones delivering a clean vocal performance devouring the passionate lyrics and though much slower than the surrounding tracks it is nonetheless just as powerful. ‘Searching for the Sun’, similar, with Jones again taking a flatter vocal approach and feeding off the lyrical content.
Concluding with ‘Broken by the Cold’ with its gradual build to crescendo before Jones enters the fray They Bleed Red has without doubt succeeded in delivering Devil You Know and Howard Jones back to the echelon of metalcore music.
The Beauty of Destruction, it appears, was just an entrée after all. They Bleed Red is punchier, angrier, and more aggressive. The world of metalcore just found its game changer. If you’re a fan of Howard Jones era Killswitch then you won’t be disappointed. Think The End of Heartache meets Unearth’s brilliant 2014 album Watchers of Rule and you have one great album.
They Bleed Red tracklisting;