First off, it’s impossible to not compare this album to the Killswitch Engage album “Disarm The Descent” and the rest of the Howard-era discography, so I won’t waste your time by saying this is not “Disarm The Descent”. What it is however is Howard Jones returning to the scene with a punch so hard that it could floor a colossus.
“The Beauty Of Destruction”, the debut album from Howard‘s new band Devil You Know may lack the overall quality of the most recent Jesse Leech fronted Killswitch effort but it makes up for it with sheer visceral heaviness.
This album is Howard breaking out on his own, with the help of one or two friends including Ryan Wombacher of Bleeding Through on bass and John Sankey of Fear Factory on the drums. It certainly is a departure from the polished sound of Killswitch Engage, going back to roots of metalcore with influences ranging from Vision Of Disorder to At The Gates. It’s certainly a more heavy beast than Killswitch.
The first track on the album ‘A New Begining’ symbolises exactly what the album gets right. It’s bouncy, heavy, brutal in places and has a pummelling blast beat in the bridge leading up to the chorus. A chorus which owes more to hardcore than to metal, its chanting, almost gang vocal, really sticks in your brain and propels the track along splendidly.
The album does bog it self down in the middle, straying into the standard heavy metalcore template at times. Also Howard does fall back into THAT vocal line (anyone who has heard his later stuff with Killswitch Engage will know what i’m referring to) especially on the second track ‘My Own’.
However, this is certainly a great return for Howard Jones. While Devil You Know may not have the polish or consistency of some of his other work, “The Beauty Of Destruction” is a fine metalcore album. It’s heavy, fast, with killer riffs and drumming whilst not budging on the amount of killer choruses. If this is anything to go by they maybe one to keep an eye on in the future. All I have to say now is, “Welcome back Howard Jones“.