DevilDriver have long been termed a “groove metal” band. In short, this would be a thrash metal band that plays at mid-tempos, whilst maintaining the original intensity of the genre. However, Trust No One often becomes something closer to thrash metal itself, and marks a new, more dense and visceral sound for the band, particularly after the slower, more moody Winter Kills.
Lead single Daybreak is closer to their early work than most of the album. Wailing hair metal guitars ring out over crunchy Slayer-chords, and the double-time drums take on an intensity new for the band, likely due to new drummer Austin D’Amond. The track is fun, but the cleaner guitar lines don’t fit well with the aggressive tone, and it comes across as a bit of a mess. The strongest tracks on Trust No One tend to be the loudest, such as the early standout Bad Deeds. The drums alternate between a smooth groove, and pounding blast-beats, and the guitar line is clipped and heavy. Dez Fafara’s vocal line in the chorus races through words, and gives the song a feeling of adrenaline and propulsion.
My Night Sky is also successful, but as a more slow-burn form of menace. The opening 30 seconds is the eeriest moment on the album, and the slow, chugging riff of the track feels glowering and ominous. Feeling Ungodly is equally successful, with Fafara’s growl being shown off with quick, clipped sentences, and drawn-out wails. The guitar line lacks character, but the punishing drums lend the song a presence that allows it to feel satisfying.
Whenever the band tries to integrate cleaner guitars, or aim for transcendence as opposed to menace, the effect becomes less convincing. This Deception squanders its eerie feedback intro on a bland chord progression, that feels as though it’s attempting to imbue the track with drama it hasn’t earned. However, in spite of its weaker spots and tonal inconsistency, Trust No One is a heavy, noisy, entertaining ride.