DevilDriver - Trust No One review


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Band: DevilDriver
Album: Trust No One
Release date: May 2016

01. Testimony Of Truth
02. Bad Deeds
03. My Night Sky
04. This Deception
05. Above It All
06. Daybreak
07. Trust No One
08. Feeling Ungodly
09. Retribution
10. For What It's Worth
11. House Divided [bonus]
12. Evil Of Swift Wings [bonus]

Living up to its name and giving gravitas to its meaning, Trust No One is the straw that broke the camel's back for me and DevilDriver; where before the odd misstep could be forgiven, with this album I went from expecting good new releases from the band to no longer having trust in their quality.

Trust No One sees the band pick themselves off and try to rekindle the fire that had started to dwindle; gone were the flirtations with experimentation and in its place was a strict adherence to the band's classic formula. Songs like the title track and "Bad Deeds" sound like the band wanted to rewrite another The Last Kind Words, establishing the mould that they wanted to fill on this record. Unfortunately, they fall into the trope that many bands who seek to recreate their past do: they start writing with their heads instead of their hearts, rehashing past glories rather than being inspired and putting a modern interpretation of them on the new record.

The DevilDriver of Trust No One is a different beast from the one who had put out Winter Kills and the band's prior work. Out went long-time members Boecklin and Kendrick, and in came D'Amond (of Chimaria fame) and Tiemann (who had played with [b]Uncle Kracker[b] et al, one for the obscure trivia quiz there). It is perhaps the recent additions not having yet fully gotten their feet under the table that contributes to the blandness on the album. While what they play sounds like a fit for DevilDriver and isn't played badly, it doesn't sound naturally written; rather, the album sounds like a pastiche of what they should sound like instead of focusing on making it high quality. This is the one constant I hear throughout this album; everything sounds like it should fit but nothing sounds like it fits on merit, on the strength of the riff or hook.

As mentioned prior, there are good moments to be found here and the record does have some merit to it. "My Night Sky" and "Daybreak" do manage to separate themselves from the rest of the album and show something other than a pale imitation of the band's prior work, offering up hope that Trust No One is just a blip and the band have the talent to pull out of the nosedive they find themselves in. "For What It's Worth" is not as strong as these two tracks but it stands between those two tracks and the rest of the album in terms of quality, certainly worth a listen. The rest of the album has moments rather than whole tracks worth of quality, with "Retribution" creating a nice menacing atmosphere to start the song; however, the band try to stretch it across the whole song, which doesn't work. "Trust No One" has a good chorus that is stuck between average verses and an ok main riff; with a bit more work or tweaking, these songs could be more than just ok, they have untapped potential.

After 6 albums and 13 years, DevilDriver hit their lowest ebb with Trust No One, a well intentioned record that unfortunately leads to fans of the band taking the title literally. DevilDriver was no longer a name synonymous with quality; instead you are left with a fanbase who are wary to be stung like they have been before. It's not the end of the road for the band but it's no longer a simple U-turn.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Written on 02.02.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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