Devil You Know – They Bleed Red (Nuclear Blast)

Tuesday, 10th November 2015
Rating: 8/10

Comprised of former KsE frontman Howard Jones, All Shall Perish’s Francesco Artusato, and Devolved’s John Sankey, many were eagerly awaiting last year’s The Beauty of Destruction. It was a solid release that thankfully avoided an outright KsE/ASP sound yet kept a certain familiarity to it. Now joined by Ryan Wombacher on bass, the band has returned for their sophomore session, with They Bleed Red.

Two things that stand out, moving from The Beauty of Destruction to They Bleed Red. The first of which is the heaviness factor. It seems they ratcheted it up a few notches this time around. “Shattered Silence” and opener “Consume the Damned” contain some really doozies for riffs and rightly move Jones more towards the brutal end of his spectrum. But there’s still plenty of time for melodies, as “How the End Shall Be” and “Searching for the Sun” deliver some infectious moments. The second thing is that songs seem a bit more straight-forward and streamlined. This isn’t a bad thing by any means. Short but sweet numbers like “Stay of Execution” and “The Way We Die” hit all the needed feelings without having to work overtime: hard-hitting riffs, some shredding solos, Jones’ clean/harsh dynamics (sans a more “commercial” feel), and some serious skin-beating from Sankey. They do let Jones’ more soulful side come out on the ballad-esque “Let the Pain Take Hold,” which he takes to some incredible heights. It all rounds into an easy to enjoy album from start to finish.

A nice improvement to the formula while keeping what worked last time around, They Bleed Red solidifies Devil You Know as a top rate modern metal act. An easy pick-up for fans and sure to get a few more people to take notice.

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