Two years ago, in 2016 DevilDriver released Trust No One where they weaved ferocious groove with catchy melodies tightly. This year the time of experiments has come and the band decided to release Country songs cover album – Outlaws ‘Til The End Vol. 1.
Vocalist Dez Fafara explains the choice of making a cover album: “I think real music has always gotten to me, whether it’s the blues, outlaw country or even real Goth music like Bauhaus and Sisters Of Mercy. That stuff has always attracted me, and this is absolutely the real stuff. The blues and outlaw country are what made rock’n’roll. They were around before rock’n’roll… and in my head, I’ve always heard these songs heavy. Lyrically, these are some of the most poignant songs on the planet. So they fit the heavy genre very well… as you can hear!”
Generally, cover album are quite dialectical: it’s an ungrateful business, but it always cause some interest. Especially such album like Outlaws ‘Til The End Vol. 1 where the band try to combine incompatible things: Death/Groove Metal with Country.
Outlaws ‘Til The End Vol. 1 contains 12 covers for famous Country and Folk songs. And I guess it is necessary to pay tribute to the band’s courage: let’s take “Ghost Riders In The Sky”, for example. This song was written in far 1948, it has over 50 versions, including metal (Chrome Division, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter). And I guess this melody will be recognized by many people. But DevilDriver managed to make something original, not an ordinary cover. Unlikely it would be the same story as it happened with “Whiskey In The Jar” cover where lots of people thought that it was Metallica’s song, but at least DevilDriver’s version is interesting. Especially when there are such guests like John Carter Cash, Ana Cristina Cash, Randy Blythe and Mark Morton from Lamb of God took part in a record.
Sometimes the band places original in front, like in “Outlaw Man”, where fierce drums and riffs just frame an original melody and the catchy chorus is a merit of The Eagles.
But mostly it is contrariwise. Original “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” is a quite simple, melancholic anti-war anthem. But the things and ideas, which Richard Thompson almost whispered about, now they screamed with extreme vocals of Dez Fafara and Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory. And it needs to say that this worked. But the (Bagh)dad still kills.
On the whole Outlaws ‘Til The End Vol. 1 can be called not a cover album, but a DevilDriver’s LP, inspired by Country music. Even apart from original songs and melodies this album is valuable by itself.
Outlaws ‘Til The End Vol. 1 was released on July, sixth via Napalm Records.