Imagine groove-metal played at an intense pace. Imagine that sound but covering some of music’s most famous country songs. Well, what you’ve just pictured is Devildriver’s Outlaws ‘Til the End: Vol. 1.
Twelve tracks of unmistakable Devildriver furious groove covering the likes of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Let’s be honest, we’re all kind of expecting a bit of a disaster here.
It has been two years since the last Devildriver album (Trust No One) so fans desperately awaiting new music will certainly lap this up. However, it does feel like a vanity project but thankfully ends up being a respectful and hard-working album. Devildriver aren’t just playing the same version of the tracks but heavier, no, they give it their own unique spin.
Not that you need to know the original songs to enjoy this album.
The differing compositions of the original tracks allow Devildriver to move out of their comfort zone a bit. Just a bit mind you, as the hyper aggressive stance of the band led by the impossible to imitate Dez Fafara will be very familiar to most.
Not that the band come alone as a multitude of guests make themselves known throughout. Guests that include Hank Williams, Randy Blythe, Wednesday 13, Brock Lindow and Burton C. Bell. Some absolutely huge names.
There are some great moments on Outlaws ‘Til the End. These come in the form of the Hank Williams opener, Country Heroes which includes the man himself. Johnny Cash’s Ghost Riders in the Sky which features Randy Blythe of Lamb of God and Cash’s son, John Carter Cash. Perhaps the highlight of the album comes with the hyper-aggressive guitar work of Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road. Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists teams up with Fafara to deliver an intense cover.
The occasional noticeable country twang does the album no harm but this is a metal album through and through and you can tell Devildriver enjoyed making this.
That being said it does take the odd misstep. Willie Nelson’s Whiskey River is a bit jarring, The Outlaws’ Outlaw Man is forgettable and David Allan Coe’s The Ride fails to spark. The good out-weighs the bad though and Outlaws ‘Til the End will help tide over Devildriver fans until new music arrives. It’s an enjoyable listen.
Devildriver- Outlaws ‘Til the End: Vol. 1 Full Track Listing:
1. Country Heroes (Hank Williams III Cover)
2. Whiskey River (Willie Nelson Cover)
3. Outlaw Man (The Eagles Cover)
4. Ghost Riders in the Sky (Johnny Cash Cover)
5. I’m the Only Hell Mama Ever Raised (Johnny Paycheck Cover)
6. If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (George Jones Cover)
7. The Man Comes Around (Jonny Cash Cover)
8. A Thousand Miles From Nowhere (Dwight Yoakam Cover)
9. Copperhead Road (Steve Earle Cover)
10. Dad’s Gonna Kill Me (Richard Thompson Cover)
11. A Country Boy Can Survive (Hank Williams Jr. Cover)
12. The Ride (David Allan Coe Cover)
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The album is out now and you can buy/stream it via all major shops and services.
Devildriver - Outlaws 'Til The End: Vol. 1 (Napalm Records)
The Final Score - 7/10