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DEVILDRIVER SIGN WITH… NAPALM?!?

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In the words of the great Vince Neilstein: “Wwwwaaaaat?”

In March, DevilDriver parted ways with their longtime label Roadrunner Records and announced that they were “talking to many record companies” with regards to finding a new home. I know for a fact that there were a bunch of people from some pretty big metal labels swarming around the band’s show in New York City a few weeks later; I even offered a guess as to which one would land them. But I won’t share that guess here, because it seems like it would be rude in light of the fact that I was dead wrong. ‘Cause DevilDriver “have signed a worldwide record deal with the Austrian label” Napalm Records.

Forget, for a moment, whether or not you actually like DevilDriver, and just consider how kinda odd this from a business standpoint. It’s not as though Napalm is some nothing label that none of us have heard of — far from it — but I don’t think any of the bands on their current roster (which includes Candlemass, Huntress, Korpiklaani, Hatesphere, and Alestorm) are as big of a draw as DevilDriver (at least not in the U.S.). And they stick out like a sore thumb from their new label mates: DevilDriver on the same label as Killswitch Engage and Slipknot made sense, but DevilDriver on the same label as Tyr, Moonsorrow, and, uh, Van Canto… well, that just seems weird, doesn’t it?

But whatever. Maybe DevilDriver really liked the idea of being bigger fish in a smaller pond, and/or maybe Napalm is looking to expand its signature sound. Or maybe the label just legitimately offered them the best deal. I guess it doesn’t really matter, so long as DevilDriver’s fans dig their new album (which is scheduled for release next year), and Napalm promotes it properly. I’m curious to see how this plays out, and if any other like-minded bands now flock to the label.

-AR

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