Californian dark groove metallers DEVILDRIVER recently announced their upcoming double album, "Dealing With Demons". The first volume — titled "Dealing With Demons I" — drops on October 9 via Napalm Records and marks the band's first release of new, original material since 2016’s acclaimed "Trust No One". Representing the onset of a final purging of the themes that have long possessed frontman Dez Fafara and DEVILDRIVER's music, each track on "Dealing With Demons I" illustrates a different demon to be dealt with or released.
Today, the band is following up on the release of its first single "Keep Away From Me" and its thought-provoking video with yet another anthem — the menacing, mosh-ready second single "Iona". From the ominous siren at its start to its grooving verses, the track pulls no punches. The hair-raising, anthemic chorus line "She carries a black rose…" beckons the listener again and again into a chilling ghost story! Travel the dark road into "Iona"'s clutches via the heart-gripping music video, directed by Vicente Cordero, below.
Fafara states: "'Iona' is unlike any other DEVILDRIVER song we've put out. From the frantic verses to the haunting chorus, this song is another move forward to push our sound and the listener's ears into the fray! The chorus, 'She carries a black rose, effigy from a story closed,' tells the story of the long dead ghost of Iona and her obsession with death represented by the black roses in her hands — each one the soul of someone she’s taken from this life on a lonely dark road, assimilating their souls into black roses, which she carries for eternity. This theme relates to myself and 'Dealing With Demons' in that oftentimes we as people have a hard time 'letting go' of things. This can be applied to relationships, death, and so on. Iona carrying the black roses symbolizes her inability to move on — always seeking revenge. The past is exactly that — the past. It's important to let go and not be stuck in a perpetual loop of living in it."
"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 credit: Stephanie Cabral