It’s been four years since DevilDriver released any new, original material — their last album was the 2018 country covers LP Outlaws ’til the End, Vol. 1 — but today (May 21st) the wait is over. The Californian group led by former Coal Chamber frontman Dez Fafara have dropped a vicious, crusher “Keep Away From Me,” from the band’s forthcoming album, Dealing With Demons I, which is itself the first part of a planned double album. The very relevant song arrives amid the COVID-19 crisis and resulting social-distancing restrictions, a fact that is not lost on the frontman.
As Fafara says about the ripping track and its accompanying visual (which you can watch above), “I’ve been social distancing since I was born. I’ve learned to try and embrace my Agoraphobia all my life. This is what the lyrics are about as we are all sheltered in place. They seem very clear. Now is not the time bands should shy away from the obvious by trying to push the narrative through their art as if everything is alright with the world and ‘it’s metal video visual as usual time,’ as it is clearly not that time.”
He continues, “We as artists should speak up, inspire and change lives, or paint a picture – a time capsule if you will – by the narrative we push in uncertain times. This video is one such art piece as my band and thousands of others are forced into quarantine – cannot rehearse, take photos, or perform – to make a music video for the very people that have supported us for years. It’s trying times for the world and my outlook through this video is simply this: ‘Here’s what we are going through as a family on this planet and as we embrace what is yet to come… please Stand Together.’”
With that, the vocalist concludes with the direction of these albums saying, “It’s time to lay it all out, on two records. I’m never gonna revisit these subjects again. I’ve been writing about this sort of human nature, disloyalty and dishonesty, love and loss, since the beginning of my career. I am going in a more lyrically woke direction in the future. A lot of people say my music gives them strength. But what they don’t realize is that these topics haunt me. Over the course of these last few years we fled from wildfires, my wife battled cancer and now we are going through a pandemic… so it is what it is… let’s dump it all on the table and purge. I want to go through different topics in the future, so here we are now. I’ve laid it all out on a double record for all of you to hear.”
Until then, Dealing With Demons I arrives October 9th via Napalm Records. There are a wide array a pre-order bundles available here. Joining the frontman on the double record adventure are guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann, bassist Diego Ibarra and drummer Austin D’Amond. Below is the track list and album art.