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'Winter Kills'
(Napalm Records)

jools green

Jools Green


Opinions about Devildriver have always run deep regarding their style or the evolution of their front man Dez Fafara since his early days with Coal Chamber and most people have made up their minds one way or another. Personally I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved and how he has progressed and matured, from a musical perspective, over the years.

The Californian quintet have moved further away from their old sound with 'Winter Kills', their sixth release and the first release on this new label and there is a much different feel to it, much more intense and focused, a more brutal assault on the senses, with a primal quality, plenty of riffs and at times a very nice groove.

The powerful drumming of Jeff Boecklin makes a big impact on every track, Jeff Kendrick and Mike Spreitzer have upped their game with their guitar work on this album and Dez's vocals are harsher and more intense than ever.

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Opening with 'Oath Of The Abyss' which comes in like a tidal wave but then the underlying groove follows beautifully behind; a catchy start.

I love the down-tuned groove on 'Ruthless' as it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, even before Dez's vocals had began. 'Desperate Times' is fast frantic, exciting and catchy.

There's no let up in the pace with the intense title track, 'Winter Kills.' A fabulous guitar opener builds in intensity as the vocals kick in on 'The Appetite', a mid paced head nodding track. 'Gutted' is powerfully intense and chugging.

Look out for the stunning solo towards the end of 'Curses And Epitaphs'. An excellent down-tuned groove keeps popping up on 'Carings Overkill' and the added bonus of a nice guitar segment towards the end.


Don't be fooled by the gentle opener; 'Haunting Refrain' comes at you with a frenzy, pulling out all the stops with the solo at the latter end of the track. 'Tripping Over Tombstones' is a chugging and pulsating penultimate track.

The album ends, not unusually, on a wildcard of a track, with a cover of Awolnation's 'Sail'. In the past Devildriver's obscure covers often leave you wondering just what their thoughts were behind their choices of tracks to cover, but this version is massively improved for receiving a Metal makeover compared to the rather appalling original version.

'Winter Kills' is another great album from Devildriver, eleven intense, winning tracks that are a great listen and if you didn't like them before, give this a try as you just might change your mind.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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