Album review: “Devil” by Chiodos

Dominic Spizzirri

It took forever, but finally there is a new Chiodos record and this time with fan-favorite member Craig Owens back on main vocals. Is it everything fans were hoping it would be? Kind of.

First off, the biggest thing to keep in mind when talking about this new album, “Devil,” is that yes, Craig Owens is back, as well as original drummer Derrick Frost, but this is also the first Chiodos record featuring The Fall of Troy guitarist/vocalist Thomas Erak who replaced former lead guitarist Jason Hale. 

Too much of a change? Well fans of older Chiodos albums like “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Bone Palace Ballet” will feel right at home. But fans of the last Chiodos record “Illuminaudio” will probably feel out of place due to this record having basically an entire different line up for half the band.

As for “Devil” itself, it is anything but disappointing to the fans of the old work. A lot of songs felt like they came from the original albums that Chiodos fans had come to love and moves away from the more mainstream, hardcore tone from “Illuminaudio.” That is not to say the record does not feature songs outside of the original Chiodos sound though.

For those who listened to Craig Owen’s band DRUGS while he was out of Chiodos will notice many similarities between the two bands’ sounds, especially when the bands break out of the hardcore sound, with songs like “3 AM” and “Under Your Halo“, which are basically pop songs with loud guitars. The addition of these songs are fantastic and fit right into the record; it is nice to see Chiodos expand their sound.

Every song itself is fun to listen to and they feature many moments of wanting to sing along, or if possible, even wanting to start mosh-pitting.

One gripe about the record is the heaviest track “Behvis Bullock” which, on its first listen, feels like a great hardcore moshpit type of song, but on a second listen felt like a pivotal weak point of the record. The song feels rushed and features the most awkward transitions from bridge to chorus I have ever heard. The song could have been a good heavy point but instead just felt more awkward than good. The lyrics are also very generic and subpar for Owens. I wonder how this song even made it on the record compared to the bonus, unused tracks and the rest of the album.

Overall, “Devil” is a good hardcore record that keeps you surprised song after song with its variety. With the exception of “Behvis Bullock,” this is a good return but fails to live up to past records.

After listening to it, I could not help but wonder what the album could have been with the “Illuminaudio” line up or if Owens had stayed with DRUGS. In the end it was not a disappointing return for the band, but one that could have been much better.