Posts Tagged “Coal Chamber”

Brian Giffin of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Dez Fafara of Californian metallers DEVILDRIVER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the recording process for DEVILDRIVER‘s new album, “Winter Kills”:

“I decided that I didn’t want to spend more time away from my family than I have to,” he explains, “so I recorded at home in my own studio. It just gave me a more comfortable place for me to work where I didn’t have to be separated from them for these long bouts of time. I could go in there whenever I needed to and work for a few hours at a time, and then I could be at home spending time with the family. It just made, for me, the perfect work enviroment and made things more enjoyable and manageable for me.”

On the songwriting process for “Winter Kills”:

“I did this thing on this record called automatic writing. I would get the tracks from the rest of the band and then I would listen to one a dozen, fifteen times over, and then I would turn it off and just start to write. It’s almost like a trance state where you don’t even think about what you’re doing. I just found it to be a very comfortable, very natural way for me to write and to come up with some new ideas and a whole new way of working that I think keeps with the whole theme of this record.”

On “Winter Kills” representing a rebirth for DEVILDRIVER:

‘Winter Kills’ definitely represents something new for DEVILDRIVER. You know, every one of our records is like a new beginning for us. We’re always looking to strive for some new approach, something new to add. I think this is the strongest material we’ve ever done, and to me, the concept of ‘Winter Kills’ represents that break, that killing off what we’ve done so that we can move forward. That’s kind of why I did the COAL CHAMBER [reunion] thing, because I felt there needed to be closure so that I could move on from that, and so in the same way I think that this new record allows DEVILDRIVER to move forward again from what we did with ‘Beast’, from what we did with ‘Pray For Villains’.

“I’m pretty proud of the fact that no one’s ever really been able to pigeon-hole our band into a particular sound. We’ve done thrash metal , death metal, we’ve had a black metal influence here and there but we’ve never been pinned down into a category where you can just say, ‘Well, DEVILDRIVER sounds like this or that’.”

Read the entire interview at Loud magazine.

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Now comes a time in a premiere metal act’s career when certain paths have reached their end and new ones open up. Dez Fafara is, of course, no stranger to new paths. His transition from nu-metal era favorites COAL CHAMBER to the more ferocious DEVILDRIVER has proven to be a successful gambit. Even doing what was previously unthinkable by fielding a few months of recent COAL CHAMBER reunion gigs, Fafara calls his California Groove Machine back into action for a rowdy sixth ride. This time, they not only make Chris Towning a permanent bassist, they find themselves at the end of a fruitful association with Roadrunner Records, now aligned with the indie-oriented Napalm Records.

In one of the more unorthodox moves by a well-known metal act (as FEAR FACTORY did likewise by drifting from Roadrunner to Candlelight Records), DEVILDRIVER dials way in on their latest album, “Winter Kills”. While not quite as fast as its predecessors, “Winter Kills” nonetheless pounds and minces with one of the tightest performances in their catalog. Still hardly a thrash or metalcore act by either definition, DEVILDRIVER is simply modern metal in its tautest form. “Winter Kills” will hence go down as a defining moment for Fafara and his well-armed ballistics team.

Each song on “Winter Kills” has so much detail and time signature rollovers, even primarily at mid-tempo, they almost defy analysis. One thing that can be said, “Winter Kills” is the kind of album that pays out more than face value. John Boecklin continues to impress with hundreds of bpms delivered per tune and seldom does DEVILDRIVER opt for straight velocity on this album. Boecklin‘s rolling double kicks amidst the strutting power pump of “Ruthless” is nifty stuff, and he fills the tar out of “Desperate Times” with multiple patterns, rolls and barreling floor bass while Dez Fafara half-ralphs and half-raps along. Expect more of the same throughout the entire album. John Boecklin is an unsung drumming hero of this scene and this album displays his full dexterity and potency.

As striking as Boecklin‘s work is throughout “Winter Kills”, Jeff Kendrick and Mike Spreitzer are equally spectacular. Shredding is one of their fortes (most especially on “Gutted”, where every ripping strike across their strings sounds cut from static knives), but their ever-trusty solos hit new levels of grandeur on “The Appetite”, “Curses and Epitaphs”, “Carings Overkill” and “Haunting Refrain”.

Though Dez Fafara recorded his vocal tracks primarily at home in a newly-installed sound booth, the mix into his band’s fluctuating dynamics allows his woofs to sound even more energized than ever. It’s fortunate he’s such an on-the-tick growler since his band would dust nearly anyone else with their constantly veering calculations.

Even more exciting on this album than the electrifying rigidity, pervasive groove and endless variations are the wicked cool intros. “Haunting Refrain” opens with a few bars of lucid ostinato followed by echoing chugs before ripping into the song’s mid-tempo march. The tribal clomps and meaty riffs leading off “Ruthless” are a bitchin’ modicum, while a resonating sluice trickles into some inspired power metal crunches on the album’s finale, “Sail”.

While the overall tone of DEVILDRIVER‘s music remains the same, there is much digging to be done by the listener on “Winter Kills”. It’s evident Dez and the boys are staking their reps with their new recording alliance. Napalm Records is a label with a history for showcasing some of the best Euro and Scandinavian metal in the form of TYR, LEAVES’ EYES, MIDNATTSOL, KORPIKLAANI, ELIS and ATROCITY. Not quite the same household name company DEVILDRIVER is accustomed to, but “Winter Kills” sounds like it belongs here, in title and best of all, in delivery.

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DEVILDRIVER and COAL CHAMBER singer Dez Fafara was interviewed on the latest edition of the “Maximum Threshold” radio show. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

DEVILDRIVER‘s sixth album, “Winter Kills”, sold around 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 32 on The Billboard 200 chart. This figure is in line with the opening number of DEVILDRIVER‘s fifth CD, “Beast”, which also shifted 11,000 units back in February 2011 to land at No. 42.

“Winter Kills” first-week chart positions:

Germany: #24
Finland: #24
Austria: #26
USA: #32
Switzerland: #45
UK: #71
The Netherlands: #87

The instrumental parts for “Winter Kills” were recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida while the vocals were laid down at Dez Fafara‘s home studio, with Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, ALL THAT REMAINS) handling production duties. The album’s cover artwork features a photograph by Dean Karr. The layout was done by Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature.

“Winter Kills” was made available in four configurations, including a deluxe digibook with CD (including two bonus tracks, “Shudder” and “Back Down To The Grave”) and live DVD (featuring 45 minutes of live raw DEVILDRIVER power — no studio overdubs at all, just the band at their best — and including fan favorites “Clouds Over California” and “The Wretched”), standard CD version, digital version and, for the first time in DEVILDRIVER history, a 2LP gatefold edition.

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DevilDriver just released their sixth album Winter Kills. I spoke with vocalist Dez Fafara about the different recording approach they took with this album, the recent Coal Chamber reunion shows, signing with a new record label and other subjects.

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The boys are back

What is arguably the biggest metal release of the year finally lands this week as Avenged Sevenfold‘s much-hyped and much-debated new album, Hail To The King, is unleashed onto the general public. A definitive statement of intent? A bold new era? A bit of a misfire? Whatever your opinion, chances are you definitely have one, so come and let us know what you’re feeling over on Facebook.

Also out this week is the new full-length from DevilDriver – the band’s first since Dez Fafara decided to resurrect Coal Chamber last year. As it happens, it’s an awesome return to form after the opinion-splitting impact of Beast, full of the kind of ferocious hooks and massive grooves that we want to hear from a DevilDriver album. Well played, chaps!

DevilDriver: Back

Well? Why aren’t you banging your fucking head off?!

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No matter what you might think of the band, their style or the evolution of their mainman Dez Fafara since his early days earning gold records with Coal Chamber, you cannot deny the force with which Devildriver command attention. Their approach to music could never be described as nuanced, more a brutish frontal assault than …

The post Album Review: DEVILDRIVER Winter Kills appeared first on Metal Injection.

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Roadrunner Records celebrates its three-decades-plus legacy as one of the most highly regarded labels in heavy metal and hard rock history by releasing a four-CD boxed set covering a broad spectrum of heavy music with tracks from dozens of the world’s most legendary artists.

The set, due for release on October 1, includes 54 tracks spread across four discs, packaged in a deluxe fold-out paneled box, at a retail price of $39.98. Decibel contributor Chris Dick has written the liner notes, which trace Roadrunner‘s entire history and include quotes from founder Cees Wessels; legendary A&R guru Monte Conner; and artists such as KING DIAMOND, SEPULTURA/SOULFLY/CAVALERA CONSPIRACY mastermind Max Cavalera, TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy, OPETH leader Mikael Åkerfeldt, SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison, and more.

“XXX: Three Decades Of Roadrunner Records” delivers a blistering overview of the label’s formidable first three decades of existence spread across four carefully assembled CDs. The first disc, “Foundations,” highlights the label’s early, reputation-building years with ultra-heavy tracks by MERCYFUL FATE, CARNIVORE, DEICIDE, BRUJERIA, SUFFOCATION, BIOHAZARD, TYPE O NEGATIVE and more. The second disc, “Horns Up,” sums up Roadrunner‘s indelible impact on the metal scene of the 1990s with moshpit-detonating anthems from SLIPKNOT, MACHINE HEAD, SEPULTURA, COAL CHAMBER, FEAR FACTORY, and many others. The third disc, “And Metal For All,” brings the listener into the 2000s and up to the present with the pounding sounds of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM, DREAM THEATER, OPETH, GOJIRA and more, as well as a track from 2005’s “all-star” Roadrunner United album. The final disc, “Rock For The Ages,” focuses on Roadrunner’s hard rock contingent with tracks from mainstays such as RUSH, NICKELBACK, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, AIRBOURNE, BLACK STONE CHERRY, and KORN featuring Skrillex, among others.

A documentation of not just Roadrunner‘s history but metal itself, this four-disc set is testimony to the fact that as metal and heavy rock have morphed and changed over the years, Roadrunner was always, and continues to be, at the epicenter.

“XXX: Three Decades Of Roadrunner Records” will also be available digitally from all major online retailers.

The full track listing is as follows:

Disc 1 – Foundations:

01. MERCYFUL FATE – “Evil”
02. WHIPLASH – “Power Thrashing Death”
03. KING DIAMOND – “Abigail”
04. CARNIVORE – “Carnivore”
05. OBITUARY – “Slowly We Rot”
06. ANNIHILATOR – “Alison Hell”
07. DEICIDE – “Sacrificial Suicide”
08. SUFFOCATION – “Infecting The Crypts”
09. BIOHAZARD – “Punishment”
10. TYPE O NEGATIVE – “Christian Woman”
11. BRUJERIA – “Matando Güeros”
12. CYNIC – “Veil of Maya”
13. LIFE OF AGONY – “Through and Through”
14. TREPONEM PAL – “Excess and Overdrive”

Disc 2 – Horns Up:

01. NAILBOMB – “Wasting Away”
02. MACHINE HEAD – “Imperium”
03. DOG EAT DOG – “No Fronts (Jam Master Jay’s Main Edit)”
04. DEATH – “Crystal Mountain”
05. SEPULTURA – “Roots Bloody Roots”
06. COAL CHAMBER – “Loco”
07. SOULFLY – “Eye For an Eye”
08. FEAR FACTORY – “Shock”
09. SLIPKNOT – “Spit It Out”
10. SPINESHANK – “New Disease”
11. CHIMAIRA – “Pure Hatred”
12. 36 CRAZYFISTS – “Bloodwork”
13. ILL NIÑO – “What Comes Around”

Disc 3 – And Metal For All:

01. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – “My Last Serenade”
02. TRIVIUM – “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”
03. DEVILDRIVER – “I Could Care Less”
04. CRADLE OF FILTH – “Nymphetamine Fix”
05. HATEBREED – “Destroy Everything”
07. ROADRUNNER UNITED – “The Dagger”
08. PORCUPINE TREE – “Fear of a Blank Planet”
09. DREAM THEATER – “On the Backs of Angels”
10. OPETH – “Heir Apparent”
11. MEGADETH – “Head Crusher”
12. DOWN – “Witchtripper”
13. HEAVEN & HELL – “Bible Black”
14. GOJIRA – “L’enfant Sauvage”

Disc 4 – Rock For The Ages:

01. NICKELBACK – “Side of a Bullet”
02. JERRY CANTRELL – “Anger Rising”
03. STONE SOUR – “30/30-150”
04. KARMA TO BURN – “Ma Petite Mort”
05. GLASSJAW – “Pretty Lush”
06. THE DRESDEN DOLLS – “Girl Anachronism”
07. AIRBOURNE – “No One Fits Me (Better Than You)”
08. MURDERDOLLS – “Dead in Hollywood”
09. THEORY OF A DEADMAN – “Bad Girlfriend”
10. BLACK STONE CHERRY – “Lonely Train”
11. KORN feat. Skrillex – “Get Up!”
12. RUSH – “Headlong Flight”
13. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “Still Unbroken”


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Andrew Epstein of conducted an interview with DEVILDRIVER and COAL CHAMBER frontman Dez Fafara at this year’s Wacken Open Air festival, which was held August 1-3 in Wacken, Germany.

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Fan-filmed video footage of COAL CHAMBER’s June 28 performance at this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium can be seen below.

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Video footage of COAL CHAMBER’s June 22 performance at this year’s Hellfest in Clisson, France can be seen below.

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