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Media Review: “Devil” Chiodos

Grade: A-

Michigan sextet Chiodos is back with a new album and ready to take over the post-hardcore world.

“Devil” is the band’s fourth studio album following “Illuminaudio” in 2010. It is the first album after the return of original front man Craig Owens and original drummer Derrick Frost. The band’s last album with the two was 2007’s “Bone Palace Ballet.”

With the return of Owens and Frost, many fans expected the new release to be “Bone Palace Ballet” part two, but it goes above and beyond that. “Devil” still features a great deal of orchestral instrumental work, heavy screams and high-pitched vocals, as always from Chiodos, but has much more diversity both musically and lyrically than the band’s previous releases.

Though the album starts off with an instrumental introduction, which seems to be the very typical Chiodos thing to do, the rest of the album is both reminiscent of old school Chiodos and a new take on things.

The introduction segues into “We’re Talking About Practice,” a song that lets listeners know that Chiodos is definitely back. It’s loud, in your face and can’t be ignored.

The majority of the songs are “typical Chiodos,” but more polished than anything previously released by the band. The lyrics are also more mature than the band’s previous work. Craig Owens has stated that the title and lyrics are about the temptations presented by everyday life. This is much more profound subject matter than the band has presented in the past.

Two standout tracks on the album are “3AM” and “Under Your Halo.” While the rest of the songs stick to the post-hardcore genre, these two tracks are quite different and add breaks to a musically and lyrically heavy album.

The tracks are more pop-punk or pop-rock than post-hardcore, but that’s not a bad thing at all. They show the versatility of the band and how they have matured over the years. These tracks are a different direction for the band and incredibly refreshing for the album and the post-hardcore genre in general. In an industry so dominated by bands trying to stick to one genre, seeing a band take a risk and change things up is excellent and needs to happen more often.

Overall, “Devil” is a solid album that shows the band’s versatility. It contains some of the band’s heaviest and lightest material to date and marks a new point in time for them, with the return of two original members.

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