From start to finish, Beast is a return to form for DevilDriver, delivering their patented mix of pummeling and soaring melodic death metal soaked in a healthy vat of groove. The Santa Barbara quintet’s fifth outing is a relentless and brutal mauling to the ear hole. The opener “Dead to Rights” immediately grabs you by the skull and drags you straight into the pit where 11 other tracks are chomping at the bit to kick your sorry ass. Standout tracks from this ragtag mix of angry and soul-ripping anthems include the blistering “Shitlist,” the scathing “Coldblooded,” and the earthquaking “You Make Me Sick.” Most surprising is their hauntingly brutal cover of 16 Horsepower’s alt-country tune “Black Soul Choir,” easily one of the best songs on this unforgettable and full throttle record. The musicianship is relentless, sharp, and some of the best this band has recorded. From the bowels of hell, DevilDriver has unleashed a “Beast” that will leave a trail of bloody scars and broken bones wherever it may roam. JEREMY BORJON
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