Considering Coal Chamber's nu-metal pioneering back catalogue has aged as well as a two year old bean burrito in the Hawaiian sun, one still can't help but be leery by the prospect of a Devildriver release. Much like Silent Civilian, a former Roadrunner star has started a new outfit and tailored its sounds heavily to the current trends, and with Coal Chamber's Dez Fafara leading the charge here, things almost feel like they should be sketchy from the get-go.
The odd thing is, they don't. A highly competent and musically proficient album from head to toe, Devildriver repeatedly keep their hunger levels high as they rip through thrashy melodies and hostile Swedish riffing. But after the initial adrenaline burst wears off it it soon becomes clear. Devildriver are little more than a wolf in sheep's clothing - yet another North American nu-metalcore band who have listened to far too much At The Gates and In Flames.
Still, while their influences may have already been squeezed tighter than Matt Heafy's testicles in a pair of women's jeans, the band make due and deliver an enjoyable listen that will definitely cater to their target market. But there are far too many familiar movements taken here for this album to be a hallmark release. To truly be heavy in 2007, especially with an album that flirts heavily with metalcore, there should be some challenge presented not only to the band, but the listener as well.
What "The Last Kind Words" presents is merely a highly competent and modernized 'greatest hits' compilation of the bands now-tired influences, culminating in a gratuitous display of pummeling brawn. For all the clever aggression and razor sharp songwriting the album just seems to come off as a flat rehash with good intentions. You can only sharpen something so much with a dull blade and "The Last Kind Words" has little say in disputing that.
(3 / 5)