FULL DEVIL JACKET
'Valley Of Bones'
Nearly thirteen years has passed since the release of their self titled debut album. Now, Jackson Tennessee's Full Devil Jacket are back for another stab at the big time with the release of their much anticipated new album 'Valley Of Bones'.
Full Devil Jacket were once on the frontier of global success, until singer Josh Brown suffered a near fatal heroin overdose. It was during his recovery that Brown found Christianity, which triggered him exiting the band.
But unfortunately more tragedy was to strike when, in 2011, guitarist Michael Reaves succumbed to illness and passed away. This was to prove the catalyst in the band's resurrection. Brown, along with drummer, Keith Foster, decided to reform FDJ as a tribute to their late band mate.
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The modern Metal vibes of 'Killers' kick-starts the comeback, not a great choice for an opening track but it still whets the appetite. Title track, 'Valley Of Bones', lights the touch paper of the album perfectly. A cacophony of melody, raw power and some demonic vocals all blend together and release a rambunctious sound.
After the boisterous mayhem of '7X Down', you could be forgiven for thinking FDJ were a one trick pony. 'The Moment' puts that theory to bed with an emotion filled song that's one of the real money shots on this album; a completely different side to Brown's vocal personality is also played out brilliantly. That's followed by 'We Got The Love', which can only be described as, no holds barred, pedal to the Metal, full throttle. I think you probably catch my drift.
As rock ballads go, 'What If I Say', is an admirable effort, and despite a brief flourish of riffs from Paul Varnick and Zach Broderick, the song is far too weak boned throughout. 'Blood Of The Innocent' and 'Picturebox Voodoo' may be of a tried and tested formula, but that doesn't take away for their instant likeability. These types of tunes are Full Devil Jacket's bread and butter, and connoisseurs of alternative Metal will salivate at their undeniable class.
I must admit I wasn't expecting many ballads on this album and it might piss off the purists that there's two closing out the album. But the haunting power of 'Paper Crown' is an out and out winner from start to finish, as is the hugely personal 'August', a song that thrives throughout in its wonderful simplicity.
European listeners get a tasty little bonus track with 'Time In The Flames', a song that would have been worth an official listing. Featuring some pretty nasty vocals, it bears all the hallmarks of a song that will absolutely cook live.
All in all Full Devil Jacket have announced their comeback in some style. If truth be known, this album probably won't make a dent in the album charts but I reckon Josh Brown and co are just glad they're back in the game.
These guys have unfinished business, and this is a bloody good start.
Valley Of Bones
We Got The Love
What If I Say
Blood Of The Innocent
Time In The Flames (EU bonus track)
Full Devil Jacket are:
Josh Brown - Vocals
Keith Foster - Drums
Zach Broderick - Guitar
Moose Douglass - Bass
Paul Varnick - Guitar