Album Review: “Devil” by Chiodos

Chiodos is one of those bands that serves as solace for the “bleeding heart” teenage generation. Their most recent album stands true to this, from the title to the dark and descriptive lyrics. In 2012-13, Chiodos went back to its roots, as two of its original band members returned for starring roles in

2014’s “Devil.”

This also brings the band as a whole back to its original sound to some extent (specifically the successful 2005 album “All’s Well That Ends Well”). Nine years apart, these two albums still have the same general style and format. Starting with an interlude under one minute, the tone is set for the album, or so it might seem.

While “All’s Well That Ends Well” gives the standard name of “Prelude” to this song, “Devil” titles it “U.G. Introduction,” perhaps referring to an “underground” introduction. Songs like this are sometimes meant to be a bit eerie and Chiodos captures this. The introductory song is soft, instrumental and is a gentle way of beginning the album before launching into raunchier lyrics and a much more hardcore sound.

 The second song embodies this jump with the first lyrics of the song (and album): “Turn off the lights, and turn me on.” Chiodos’s rock reputation is similar to bands like Cinematic Sunrise and Cute Is What We Aim For, which means a combination of sometimes playful lyrics and more serious themes. The rest of the songs on the album follow this trend.

The standouts are the classic building punk-pop song “Old Fishlips is Dead Now” and the angry, passionate ballad “3 AM,” showing that Chiodos has grown beyond their original sound while also staying true to what drew fans in in the first place.

“I’m Awkward & Unusual” is a clear asset to the album and one of the last songs; the title is engaging and entertaining and the lyrics are telling of the issues that engage this generation of

independent thinkers.

The title “Devil” might scare away some people at first, expecting an album that will leave them feeling the opposite of happiness and peace. However, if you really dive into Chiodos’ new album, it’s clear that the title isn’t meant to disturb, but rather to be a show of strength. I include this popular quote of vocalist Craig Owens because it speaks to the power not only of the album or band, but also of music as a whole – and that is what is really influential about bands like Chiodos.    

“‘Devil’ isn’t something I thought long and hard about. It is something that hit me, and hard. I asked myself if I was brave enough to stand behind such a strong, emotionally evoking word…and I knew right then, that was it,” Owens said. “This title is not to be confused with the muscled, red horned man surrounded by fire. This is about the temptations of everyday life. The things that become regrets; the moments where you are forced to make a choice that will determine how it is that you look at yourself for the rest of your life. This album is my definition of ‘Devil.'”