GIG REVIEW – Devildriver w/ Sylosis & Bleed from Within @ Camden Electric Ballroom, 4/04/14

I was introduced to Devildriver at Download 2007 due to their name and upon viewing their set, found myself instantly impressed. They were lively, heavy, groovy and could really get the crowd moving in a circle. I was due to see them play in London last year, but due to other reasons, I missed the gig which meant being able to see them live this year was very exciting.

The first support band was Glasgow-based metalcore band Bleed from Within who I’d heard of previously, but not really bothered to check out. Prior to the gig, Sarah and I had been discussing metalcore and how we’d drifted away from it as it had become rather samey. Although I still maintain this opinion, Bleed from Within were certainly enjoyable. They got heads moving and pits going and were generally pretty fun and a good warm-up band albeit very chuggy.

Following Bleed from Within was Sylosis, another band I’d heard of a number of times but not checked out. Unfortunately I found Sylosis to be a little boring. They were good musicians with extensive sweep picking and speed-drumming, but their music wasn’t to my taste. I also noticed that the crowd wasn’t very active during their set despite how popular they appeared to be. There were plenty of hands in the air, but not much movement which I found a bit surprising. Maybe it was just one of those nights that I’m sure all bands experience.

After a short wait following Sylosis’s set, the band of the night came on – Devildriver. As expected they launched into their set with a piledriver of fast riffs, thumping drums and heavy vocals which within seconds got the crowd moving in a very fast circle. So fast, in fact, that there were consequences: I fell over and due to the large amount of attendees within the pit, received some pretty hard knocks to the head. Luckily, before things got worse, I managed to recover myself and gain the attention of security before having a small epileptic fit. I’ll take it in my stride, though, and ask who else can say they’ve had an epileptic fit whilst seeing one of their favourite bands live?

After being taken to or walking to the bar (I can’t remember anything between alerting security and coming round at the bar) for some water and caffeine I managed to recover and watch the band from the side of the crowd despite feeling a little drowsy and achy still.

They played both new and old songs including a favourite of both myself and, quite clearly, the crowd: ‘Clouds Over California’. As soon as that first bar of eight notes kicked in there were cheers, horns, fists and heads moving. And we can’t forget to mention that pretty much the entire crowd was singing along.

Hairy-faced singer Dez Fafara frequently interacted with the crowd and led a band that put on a tight and heavy show leaving the crowd on a high and wanting more. Unfortunately we weren’t treated to an encore. This, however, can be forgiven as we’re talking about Devildriver here.

Had it not been for the fit I had early on in DD’s set I probably would have left on much more of a high than I did, but despite this, it was still a great show. Here’s hoping Devildriver will be returning soon.

Pete Kent (

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