David Jackson reviews Devil You Know at the Craufurd Arms, Wolverton
Whether on a festival stage playing to tens of thousands, or in front of a couple of hundred on a Tuesday night in Milton Keynes, what’s abundantly clear is how much Howard Jones adores being on stage.
Familiar to millions as the former singer in metalcore behemoths Killswitch Engage, Jones is now fronting Los Angeles based Devil You Know having left Killswitch in 2012.
Devil You Know kicked off their UK tour at the Craufurd Arms this week and while Jones may be their charismatic frontman, the band features a line which verges on ‘super group’ territory.
Joining Jones is former Bleeding Through bassist, Ryan Wombacher, Trivium drummer Nick Augusto and All Shall Perish guitarist Francesco Artusato.
Along for the ride at Craufurd were Brutai, Wearing Scars and Canadian progressive tech metallers Oni – the latter who featured a seldom seen Xylosynth.
Devil You Know have two albums under the belt with new music due this year, but their 10 song set drew heavily from their 2014 debut The Beauty Of Destruction.
They opened with Consume The Damned which was quickly followed by Embracing The Torture and former single Seven Years Alone.
While sharing many of the same dynamics as Killswitch, Devil You Know are a heavier and more aggressive beast.
All night pounding kick drum beats blasted out around the venue with groove heavy guitar riffs and breakdowns.
Many of Jones’ traits synonymous with his vocal style remain in Devil You Know.
His screaming is ferocious and while there’s less reliance on big soulful choruses, his character still shines through.
Jones was on chatty form all night, regularly pausing to speak to fans and explain his love for playing in the UK.
He also found time to joke about the absurdity of the metal genre and how he plans to keep coming back to this side of the Atlantic.
Other set highlights included The Way We Die and the encore of Shut It Down.
The danger any super group always faces is the temptation to draw from past glories and thankfully, Devil You Know opted against this route.
Despite what felt a relatively short set, they will have rightly notched this one up as a strong opening night of their UK tour.
They may have been a bit jetlagged, but ultimately all four brought the right mix of charisma and modern metal to MK.
Devil You Know played:
Consume The Damned
Embracing The Torture
Seven Years Alone
A New Beginning
Stay Of Execution
A Mind Insane
Crawl From The Dark
The Way We Die
Shut It Down