Devil You Know – “They Bleed Red” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Formed in 2012, Devil You Know is the new metalcore supergroup made up of Ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones, guitarist Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish), Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through) on bass and drummer John Sankey (Fear Factory). Right from the off these guys have come in at a high level, working with Logan Mader on their 2012 debut “The Beauty Of Destruction” to winning Metal Hammer’s 2014 award for Best New Band and touring with Black Label Society. This is metalcore on an uber elitist level in every sense from compositions to musicianship to production. Expertly mixing blistering ferocity with sophisticated melodies that effortlessly swing back forth while confidently blending them – whatever their posture Devil You Know simply know it’s gonna work! Howard Jones has both power and finesse in those clean, soulful vocals that really reach out in heartfelt moments while at the next he is some predatory beast barking and hoarsely growing menacingly like on ‘Searching For The Sun’. Equally so is Francesco Artusato’s dexterous guitar work, alternating from raging riffs to heavy power grooving and then launching into virtuoso soloing like on ‘Stay Of Execution’ or on the more mellower tracks, where he provides some cool futuristic melodies as Ryan Wombacher’s bass runs take more prominence in the mix on ‘Your Last Breath’. It’s not all eclectic and for those who just wanna get their heads down and mosh then ‘Stay Of Execution’ and ‘Shattered Silence’ should do the trick nicely with less chiq and more propelling double bass runs and blast beats from John Sankey. Overall, this album is heavier than the band’s debut with the style of song writing definitely having a live feel to it, as does Josh Wilbur’s complementing production, so pretty close to what you’d expect from the band when they play these live – better the devil you know eh?