Devil You Know were formed by John Sankey (ex-Fear Factory) and All Shall Perish guitarist Francesco Artusato when the pair began jamming together in 2012 with a view to building a band around them.
When Howard Jones left Killswitch Engage citing personal reasons, he was approached to join the fledging line up of Devil You Know which was solidified in 2013 when bass player Ryan Wombacher (from Californian band Bleeding Through) and guitarist Roy Lev-Ari (known for his work with Hiss of Atrocities) joined and the band set to work on what would be their debut album.
It may be too much to describe the line up as a 'supergroup' but certainly there's a great deal of talent and experience within the band and so hopes for the debut album were high and it's quite hard to be disappointed with the outcome. The first track, 'A New Beginning' is a statement of intent from the band as Jones with shouts of "Hey" as the intro blasts out of the speakers. "As long as we have something left to fight for" rings out from Jones with such aggression that you realise why he's lauded as one of the best Metalcore vocalists out there.
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'Embracing The Torture' is a great mid-paced number with Sankey throwing out a punishing beat on his (what sound like) double bass drums. The guitars from Artusato and Lev-Ari blend together well and Jones' voice has really warmed to me by this point. The addition of Wombacher during the chorus adds another dimension to the track as his voice is quite different (read: tuneful) than Jones' more aggressive vocal style.
The guitar solo from Artusato is markedly slower than some of the others on the album and features quite a bit of delay (or is it just an echo effect, I'm not sure) on the notes giving it a different sound from some of the other more traditional guitar sounds on the album.
There are a couple of good fast numbers here too, including 'For The Dead and Broken' which has a slower intro before the pace picks up as the song really gets going. From the first listen, this has become one of my favourites on the album. This is the track that best showcases the talent of both guitarists (who I assume share lead and rhythm duties throughout the album) as the rhythm guitar track drives the song onwards with the lead guitar solo darts in and out of the song. The sudden stop as the guitar lead outro reaches a crescendo is unexpected and certainly makes a change from fading out the song.
'Seven Years Alone' is another fast paced number with Jones giving it everything he has in what is probably his most brutal vocal performance. "I will not be held, I will not be contained" is sung with such vengeance here that you have to give Jones the credit he really does deserve. When the guitar solo kicks in it's an outstanding (if short performance) while Sankey once again keeps the beat pounding solidly in the background with a flurry of drum fills punctuating the main beat.
There are so many good tracks on the album that it comes highly recommended - and not just to Metalcore fans. For me, though, the highlight of the album surely has to be the atmospheric 'Crawl From The Dark'. Once again Jones shows how good his vocals can be when not doing the screamy vocals. The song is a mid-tempo number which is set up with a great doomy guitar riff that segues into a crisp and fairly simple guitar solo. The catchy chorus will have you singing along after relatively few listens and the whispered mention of the title is a great addition to the overall sound of the song.
As the song fades or you are left wondering if the track was actually edited from a longer version to fit it on the album, because it sounded to me like the song was still in full flow when the fade out occurred.
Overall, though, it's a fine debut album from a band who know exactly what they're doing and have the talent to pull it off. With no live shows currently announced, I hope they're preparing the ground work for the follow up album and when they do decide to visit the UK for more live shows, this is definitely one gig that I'll be looking forward to.
You can see the official video for 'Seven Years Alone' here:
'The Beauty of Destruction' Track list:
A New Beginning
Embracing The Torture
For The Dead And Broken
Seven Years Alone
A Mind Insane
Crawl From The Dark
I Am The Nothing
Shut It Down
As Bright As The Darkness
Devil You Know are:
Howard Jones – Vocals
Francesco Artusato – Guitar
Roy Lev-Ari – Guitar
Ryan Wombacher – Bass Guitar
John Sankey – Drums
Devil You Know Online:
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