Whenever an artist unveils they’re new side project, it’s hard not to compare it to the act for which they’re best known. When said artist’s vocals are as unique as those of Disturbed’s David Draiman, it’s damn near impossible.
It would be pretty easy to dismiss Device as a marginally less aggressive take on Disturbed’s usual post-nu-metal vitriol and be done with it, but doing so would be to avoid giving credit to what is actually a damn fine album all of its own.
Sure, opener You Think You Know kicks off with a tribal beat not a thousand miles away from Down With The Sickness, and sure, Draiman’s oft-broody, occasionally-scraping vocal is as ever present as it is on any Disturbed record, though when it mixes with the huge, industrial guitars of ex-Filter six-stringer Geno Lenardo, Device takes on a whole new life of its own.
And that’s before mention of those guest appearances.
Of particular note is Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, who joins Draiman on a dramatic rendition of Ozzy & Lita Ford duet, Close My Eyes Forever, whilst Out of Line sees System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian and Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler coming together to create a highlight among many.
On an album where every track could more than hold its own as a lead single, Vilify proves why it got the job by sinking its serrated fangs straight into your subconscious in such a way that you’ll be spewing out its memorable refrain even in your sleep.
Elsewhere, the menacing, high-tempo charge of Hunted -a track which wouldn’t be that out of place on the next Rob Zombie album- makes the task of choosing one song as a definitive favourite almost as difficult as avoiding those Disturbed comparisons.
Recommended tracks: Vilify, Hunted, Out of Line.
By the way, I’m entirely aware that I’m about two years late with this review. Device released their self-titled album back in 2013, a time when reviewing music was absolutely the last thing on my mind. Now back in a music writing frame of mind, I’ve had this beast of an album playing on repeat for the last several weeks, and couldn’t resist writing down a few words about it. Next week, something much more recent…probably.