You know the deal: Band has whole career to write first album, band gets signed, band releases album, band has “Metallica moment” where they decide to become mass appeal, and the rest is history. There’s nothing wrong with making a choice to be heard by more people, especially if it happens organically, like it has with bands like Mastodon and Opeth. Rarer, however, are bands that double down on heaviness and get more aggressive and less commercial as they continue. While our homies at Metal Sucks ran their list of uncool bands that became cool again last week, this isn’t that list, even though it shares some bands with it. This is just straight up bands that got heavier, even though it might not have been the most commercially viable thing to do.
Devildriver started off in negative territory. While Coal Chamber put Dez Fafara on the map, and the nu-metal band’s first two albums went gold, “timeless” isn’t the first word to come to mind over the course of their five-year, three album run. So when Devildriver’s debut album came out 11 years ago, the relatively low expectations for it were met. It was 2005 when they really upped the ante with The Fury of our Maker’s Hand. Considering they had a song called “Grinfucked,” and even though the first album was heavier and less gimmicky than Coal Chamber’s output, this was even heavier than that. 2007’s The Last Kind Words proved that the band was to be taken seriously, and Devildriver has has continued to up the ante on heavy, leaving Coal Chamber in the rearview mirror (even though they’re a thing again).