Devil You Know
The Beauty of Destruction

When Killswitch Engage very publically parted ways with lead singer Howard Jones, I was worried about how the new KSE album would sound.  Well last year’s Disarm the Descent was to me a massive disappointment, even with the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach.  The vocals were easily the biggest letdown on that album, and I wondered where Howard Jones would end up.  Well lo and behold he has himself a new project, Devil You Know, and this album is everything the new Killswitch Engage was not.

Jumping from the gate with the aptly titled “A New Beginning”, this album starts off with a bang.  You get Jones’ phenomenal vocal range, going from high pitch screams to a low death growl at points.  “My Own” features a trademark Jones clean chorus that will burrow its way into your brain long after the album is over.  This and “Seven Years Alone” are easily the catchiest songs on this album.

“A Mind Insane” sees Jones reach further down into death metal territory, while “Crawl from the Dark” and “It’s Over” showcase Jones’ clean croons that are some of the best in the business.  Jones is the biggest name here, but he’s surrounded by some amazing talent as well.  John Sankey (Divine Heresy, Fear Factory) does yeoman’s work behind the kit, going from slow and brooding to warp speed as needed.  Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish) rips and shreds his way through this album, with almost every song featuring a killer solo.  There’s so many here it’s hard to pick them out, but you’ll definitely notice when giving this album a spin, and multiple ones will really allow it all to showcase itself.  During my album research I also found that guitarist Roy Lev-Ari and bassist Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through) were on this album, but they’re not credited in the cd booklet so take that as you will.

If you’re a fan of Jones’ earlier side project Blood Has Been Shed, or Killswitch’s penultimate album (with Jones) The End of Heartache, then you absolutely need to give this one a spin.  It’s every bit as good as that album, and one of the best melodic metal albums I have heard in a long time (hear that All That Remains?).  I also read that the lyrics center on depression and personal struggles that Jones was dealing with, and if you listen closely they do have different layers to them and show a maturity of someone who has over a decade of experience under their belt.  He’s got one hell of a posse with him, and all in all it’s a true return to form for one of the best front men in the genre.  Welcome back Howard, hope to see you more around these parts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
May 12th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    I thought the new KSE was a huge return to form, easily the best thing they’ve done since Jesse’s original run, as I always felt the Howard years were incredibly weak and watered down, despite The End of Heartache having its moments. That being said, I haven’t bothered to check this out beyond the first song they released, because of Howard’s involvement.

    Also, Blood Has Been Shed was not a side project.


  2. Commented by: krustster

    I liked this album a lot and indeed checked it out specifically because of Howard’s singing. Interesting to know that there’s someone from Divine Heresy on it, as I had actually noticed on a few songs that it resembled that band’s first album to a degree. On the other hand, it doesn’t really sound like KSE at all, so if you didn’t like the “Howard years”, you might still enjoy this tape. Took a while to grow on me and now I listen to it all the time. “It’s Over” and “The Killer” were my favorite songs.

    Nitpicky correction: “Penultimate” means “second to last” (which End of Heartache was not) so you probably want to use a different word there. ;)


  3. Commented by: Diggedy

    Just chiming in to name drop Devolved, which is one of John Sankey’s babies. The album Reprisal by them is an amazing slab of precision metal. Also, I really don’t understand the whole team Howard vs team Jesse. Both guys are great singers. Personally, I like Howard’s style, and I had a chance to hang out with the dude when my old band played with BHBS…he’s as down to earth as they come and good luck to him.


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