DEVILDRIVER has spent almost the last two decades pursuing a course of uncompromising artistry and nonsense-free dedication to the road. Led by the prolific Dez Fafara, the Californian crew has earned their reputation as one of the hardest working bands on the planet, while issuing a steady succession of brutal but distinctive albums along the way.
Their focus has remained laser-sharp, and never more so than on the monumental upcoming double album, “Dealing With Demons”. The first volume of the double album offering — titled “Dealing With Demons I” — is set for release on October 9 via Napalm Records and will be available in several formats.
“Dealing With Demons I” — the band’s first release of new, original material since 2016’s “Trust No One”) represents the onset of a final purging of the demons that have long haunted Fafara and DEVILDRIVER’s music. From its eerie, ominous intro and the self-explanatory, explosive opener “Keep Away From Me” to the seething, poignant “Nest Of Vipers” and the chilling imagery of “Iona”, each track on “Dealing With Demons I” illustrates a different demon to be dealt with, or released.
In conjunction with the announcement of “Dealing With Demons I”, DEVILDRIVER have unleashed a searing, propelling new track “Keep Away From Me”, alongside a new lyric video — a thought-provoking time capsule that paints a picture of positivity at its end. Watch the stimulating visual, directed by Vicente Cordero, below.
Fafara states about “Keep Away From Me” and its accompanying visual: “I’ve been social distancing since I was born. I’ve learned to try and embrace my agoraphobia all my life. This is what the lyrics are about as we are all sheltered in place. They seem very clear. Now is not the time bands should shy away from the obvious by trying to push the narrative through their art as if everything is alright with the world and ‘it’s metal video visual as usual time’, as it is clearly NOT that time.
“We as artists should speak up, inspire and change lives, or paint a picture — a time capsule, if you will — by the narrative we push in uncertain times. This video is one such art piece as my band and thousands of others are forced into quarantine — cannot rehearse, take photos, or perform — to make a music video for the very people that have supported us for years. It’s trying times for the world and my outlook through this video is simply this: ‘here’s what we are going through as a family on this planet and as we embrace what is yet to come… please Stand Together.'”
“Dealing With Demons I” showcases the supreme form of the band — Dez, guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann, drummer Austin D’Amond and bassist Diego Ibarra. This isn’t just some of the most vicious DEVILDRIVER material to date, but some of their most lethally memorable too. Co-produced by Steve Evetts and Spreitzer, it’s a triumph for teamwork and tenacity.
Fafara says about the band’s writing and recording process: “I said to the guys, ‘If we just met today, what kind of music would we make? How would we stand the test of time, stand apart from others and stand above the competition? Let’s not focus on the past sound. Instead let’s kick into the future together.'”
With new milestones like Fafara’s eerie verses on “Wishing” and the frontman’s first co-authored lyric (“Nest Of Vipers” was written by Dez and Neal Tiemann), “Dealing With Demons I” ferociously delivers the goods while kicking open several new doors for DEVILDRIVER to power through in the future. It’s a vital and violent clearing of the emotional decks, but it’s also powerful evidence that Dez and his band mates have given DEVILDRIVER a volatile, visceral kick in the ass. Demons are getting dealt with in the harshest of manners.
Fafara adds: “It’s time to lay it all out, on two records. I’m never gonna revisit these subjects again. I’ve been writing about this sort of human nature, disloyalty and dishonesty, love and loss, since the beginning of my career. I am going in a more lyrically woke direction in the future. A lot of people say my music gives them strength. But what they don’t realize is that these topics haunt me. Over the course of these last few years we fled from wildfires, my wife battled cancer and now we are going through a pandemic… so it is what it is… let’s dump it all on the table and purge. I want to go through different topics in the future, so here we are now. I’ve laid it all out on a double record for all of you to hear.”
This is just the beginning – fans should be prepared for the onslaught of what is to come with the impending second volume of the double album, which promises to go even harder. This is a two-part acceleration into the future — after witnessing “Dealing With Demons I”, listeners will be clamoring for the second half!
Dez adds about the upcoming remainder of the “Dealing With Demons” saga: “Volume two will get into some very heavy topics as well. You’ll see the band progress even further musically as we finish this ode to the purge of all things demonic.”
“Dealing With Demons I” track listing:
01. Keep Away From Me
02. Vengeance Is Clear
03. Nest Of Vipers
06. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
08. Dealing With Demons
09. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever
Photo: Stephanie Cabral