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Devil You Know - "The Beauty of Destruction" (CD)

Devil You Know - "The Beauty of Destruction" CD cover image

"The Beauty of Destruction" track listing:

1. A New Beginning
2. My Own
3. Embracing The Torture
4. For The Dead And Broken
5. Seven Years Alone
6. It's Over
7. A Mind Insane
8. Crawl From The Dark
9. The Killer
10. I Am The Nothing
11. Shut It Down
12. As Bright As The Darkness

Reviewed by on July 3, 2014

"The album's title “The Beauty of Destruction” clearly lets you know the strong dichotomy that will be occurring: Devil You Know goes out of its way to mix harsh and clean at every opportunity."

There's been a fair number of supergroups that have released great music in the last year or so (Killer Be Killed, Witherscape, etc.) and when coupled with all the classic bands reuniting and releasing strong material, there's some stiff competition in this arena and expectations are higher for groupings of musicians from established bands. Devil You Know certainly delivers on the pedigree, including such members as Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through), Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish), and John Sankey (Devolved).

On the music itself, the album's title “The Beauty of Destruction” clearly lets you know the strong dichotomy that will be occurring: Devil You Know goes out of its way to mix harsh and clean at every opportunity. There are harsher screamed vocals backing up more legible, clean leaning ones that have a definite rock and 'core edge to them, as well as a constant mix of extreme and mainstream sounds in the instrumentation.

Besides the accurate album title, the band's name itself turned out to be a completely correct description, but maybe not in the way the group intended. These tracks are overall solid head banging metal that straddles the line between catchy and extreme – it's the decent devil we know rather than the potentially amazing one out there we haven't heard yet. There's a good balance between the extremes, but on the other hand most of the songs also feel like they are restrained in one direction or the other.

These songs could have either gone more extreme or more soft and mainstream and probably had a more memorable result. This is specially the case on both ending track “As Bright As The Darkness” and sixth track “It's Over,” a song that can't decide where it wants to go and ends up being rather tepid; too slow in the heavy parts and too heavy in the clean parts. A few exceptions exist, like “Embracing The Torture,” which ups the speed and brutality and leans more towards the hardcore side. “Seven Years Alone” hits a good middle-ground between the two areas and will probably work for fans of Soilwork, and the eerie guitar solo on “A Mind Insane” is also an interesting change in style.

Obviously metalheads who don't care for radio hooks or mainstream-friendly vocals aren't going to like this at all, but on the whole the album is solid and there's a decent amount to like for music fans who don't mind a broader spectrum. The bottom line is that if you dig metalcore or a mix of hard rock and metal you'll probably enjoy the ride, and of course Killswitch Engage fans should check it out, but there's nothing that's going to blow you away or end up on your “best of 2014” list.

Highs: Established industry members offer up an all-around solid album with a good mix of harsh and mainstream.

Lows: There's no chances taken here - we've heard all this before, and it frequently feels like it should be either more heavy or more mainstream rather than straddling the line.

Bottom line: Mixing extreme and mainstream, this supergroup delivers decent material but fails to offer anything stunning.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)