Devildriver Rocks the Starland Ballroom
On Friday, June 2nd, I attended the Devildriver show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. Along with Devildriver were Artimus Pyledriver, Remembering Never, Bury Your Dead, and If Hope Dies. I arrived late due to a need to stop and pick up dinner. Once I arrived, I began eating my dinner after checking in with Dez from Devildriver and meeting all their friends outside the Devildriver camper. Dinner was cut short as I had to conduct my interview with Devildriver's drummer, John Boecklin. John and all of Devildriver's friends, along with Dez and all the members of Devildriver were very nice and hospitable to me. I was treated as a friend and felt among friends, although during the interview there were many interruptions.
My interview with Devildriver drummer, John Boecklin was conducted on Devildriver's camper and, as mentioned, was interrupted quite frequently until John finally yelled for the door to be kept shut. After the interview, I walked out to rain and thunder and immediately hoped my dinner had been saved from the rain, which it had been, much to my relief. I thanked a friend of the band for saving my dinner and asked Dez and John if I could finish eating on their camper; they were kind enough to say yes. So, I went and finished eating on their camper. WhenI met my friend in side the venue, I found out that I had missed If Hope Dies and learned that they weren't that great. When I went down to the pit area, I saw Artimus Pyledriver in the middle of their set.
Artimus Pyledriver, from what I saw and heard is an amazing band. They combine the blues/rock sound of Corrosion of Conformity, Molly Hatchet, Pantera, and Lynard Skynard into one explosive band. From the minute I walked in and heard them, I knew that I was seeing a very unique band. Artimus Pyledriver's guitar work was unbelievable and the band's intensity had everyone moving. I have never seen a blues metal band like them! They combine the music of Lynard Skynard/Molly Hatchet with the vocals of Pantera/Corrosion of Conformity. For anyone looking for a new, unique band check Artimus Pyledriver out when they roll into your town!
After Artimus Pyledriver, Remembering Never came on. Remembering Never are strictly hardcore. I'm not into much hardcore, so I chose to go and sit down and talk to the Devildriver manager and merch guy. From what I did see of Remembering Never's set, I didn't miss much. The vocals were terrible, as was the music. I was thinking "are they trying to be death metal?" because from what I was seeing, it most certainly seemed that way. Their vocalist was trying very hard to do deep death metal growling and the guitarist was trying to do fast paced solos, a fair attempt, but unsuccessful indeed.
After Remembering Never, Bury Your Dead came on. I wasn't sure what to expect from Bury Your Dead, I remembered hearing something from them awhile back. I hadn't been very impressed by it and wrote them off as just another cookie cuter metalcore act at the time. Remembering this, I was very skeptical and figured I was going to be wasting my time watching this band, I was happily proved wrong. As soon as Bury Your Dead hit the stage, an awesome heaviness was unleashed upon the crowd and the pit really started to pick up. Bury Your Dead are pure heavy metal. Bury Your Dead can be best described musically as strictly heavy metal with furious drumming and intense guitar work. Vocally, Bury Your Dead are much like today's metalcore/hardcore, but it comes together very nicely to create one devastating sound. Although Bury Your Dead lack in guitar solos, they make up for it with insane break downs, although, Bury Your Dead did play many songs with amazing guitar solos. When Bury Your Dead play a guitar solo, it's fast and furious and heavy as hell! Bury Your Dead are a must see for anyone who's into moshing and catching a worthwhile show.
Closing out the night, Devildriver were set to come on. I had been looking forward to seeing them since the night before at my senior prom. As soon as Devildriver hit the stage, chaos began. Devildriver opened with "End of the Line" and after that drove through a few more songs off their new album, "The Fury of Our Maker's Hand," then tore the crowd into one big pit with songs off their debut album. Songs included, "I Could Care Less", "Cry for Me Sky", "The Mountain", "Knee Deep", "Meet the Wretched", and "Swinging the Dead". Devildriver's new songs were much heavier than their first outing and musically, improved on the guitar work and drumming. Vocally, Dez is like a savage dog growling and barking out songs that just get heavier and heavier. Dez's voice provides the final element in an already lethal metal band. Devildriver have proven this isn't a one time thing and are going to be around for years to come. "The Fury of Our Maker's Hand" is, as John Boecklin said, "YEARS beyond the first album!" Devildriver are another must-see band, if they roll into your town, go out and see them, you will get your money's worth and will get a show you will be talking about months later. I know I still am!
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