It goes without saying that Howard Jones is a vocalist that has left an indelible mark on the metal scene, through his work with Blood Has Been Shed and most famously with Killswitch Engage,he was a staple of the metalcore scene in the early 2000’s.
With his departure from Killswitch, we were gifted with one of the treats of 2013 with “Beauty in Destruction,” the debut from his latest outfit Devil you Know, a crunching album that was a sucker punch which proved he hadn’t lost any of his touch. 18 months later and we now have the follow up in the form of “They Bleed Red.”
It seems that time still hasn’t tempered the flames or even some of the rage Jones is feeling, as this is an angry record, even by metalcore standards, it reminds me a lot of Divine Heresy in just how heavy and powerful some of the material is here. Even with the melodic undertones, there is a feeling here that intensity was the name of the game this time out.
Even though you can still have a ballad like ‘The Pain Takes Hold’ at the center of this record, that punctuates things rather than bringing them to a stand still.
I think it is easy for people to forget just what a pedigree this band has, featuring members of Bleeding Through and Fear Factory, alongside Jones and whether or not you are over the whole metalcore thing. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that could, or indeed should, argue with tunes like ‘Stay of Execution,’ ‘Consume the Damned’ and ‘The Way we Die,’ which all show flashes of brilliance and show that if Devil You Know can keep up their prolific nature at this level then they will grow into genuine contenders very very quickly.
The only moment on the album that raises an eyebrow is the inclusion of a cover of Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ on the album’s special edition, which isn’t as bad as you fear, but is definitely a throw away track that looks to only serve Howard‘s fascination with covering 80’s songs that reference tigers.
Devil You Know have once again played a blinder and pulled together an album that has improved upon their debut in every sense. Its always been debated whether or not the devil has the best tunes, but based on this evidence he is definitely someone you might want to get to know