Released: Sep 13, 2011
Number Of Tracks: 13
The Devil Wears Prada have grown up from being MTV's poster-child for metalcore and have brought us an album full of surprisingly good material.
UG Team, on september 13, 2011 10 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sound: If you'd have asked for my opinions on The Devil Wears Prada a few years ago, I'd have probably vomited and laughed at the same time. The only good thing I'd have been able to say was that I liked their cover of Still Fly by Big Tymers, but I still liked the original better. On the other hand, I could have easily told you all of the things that I didn't like about them. Their music was lacking in creativity, their singers sounded terrible, they seemed to be more focused with writing clever song titles than good music I could go on. They were the embodiment of everything that went wrong with metalcore. Lead singer Mike Hranica even admits Our early material was dumb, plain and simple.
But somewhere along the line, at some time between then and now, something happened to TDWP. Maybe they were bitten by radioactive spiders, or they fell into a barrel of nuclear waste. Maybe they just grew some balls. Their Zombie EP from last year took the band in a completely different direction. Everything just sounded so much more sinister. It's an odd word to describe a Christian band with, but that's really the best I can put it. Their new album Dead Throne is definitely the heaviest album they've put out to date. The change in sound resulted from a change in the writing process that came about during the writing of the Zombie EP. Guitarist Chris Rubey said, Those songs were written pretty much solely by me on my computer and that's why they sound different. Ironically, they described their Zombie EP as a fun release with brutal songs, giving the impression that the style was simply experimentation. But the sound stuck and evolved into what would become Dead Throne.
I usually like to see bands making music with equal creative input from all of the members, but in my opinion, this is one of those situations where a Dave Mustaine scenario (that is, one member writing most of the music) works much better. The riffs on this album are heavier, more interesting, and definitely much more creative than anything I've heard coming from this band before. Some of you readers may think that isn't saying much, but really, bear with me here, it's definitely an improvement. Once you get past the intro track (which is your standard stereotypical chugfest), things pick up a little bit. What you get is the aggression of Zombie with the melody of Plagues and other previous works. A lot of the riffs have a tough-guy hardcore-esque vibe to them, a la Bury Your Dead, but the addition of little atmospheric bits and better riffs gives them an edge over Bury Your Dead's new material, as well as some of their other peers.
It isn't until the middle of the album with tracks like R.I.T. and My Questions that you can see how far this band has come from the kids that they used to be. Sure, they still use some of the same pedal riff patterns that have been abused over the past decade within this scene, but they're not totally reliant on them. And yeah, there's an abundance of breakdowns across the album, but at least some of them are augmented with ambient parts, be it keys or melodic arpeggiated guitar leads. Oh, also, speaking of keys, don't expect any dance bits like the rest of the bands that may appeal to TDWP's (former) fanbase. There are actually some really good synth bits on here that really enhance the music. Little orchestrated melodies that take more cues from symphonic metal bands than they do Asking Alexandria. Overall, though, the music can end up feeling a bit same-y once you've listened to the album enough times to get over the shock of how different they are now.
Unlike the last few albums, Dead Throne was produced, engineered, and mixed primarily by Adam Dutkiewicz. Personally, I see this as a sign of maturation for the band. No disrespect intended to Joey Sturgis, but everyone from As I Lay Dying to Parkway Drive will tell you that Adam drives musicians hard. There's no record it good enough and align it to a grid later business in his camp. With him, you play it until you play it right. It's not the type of behavior that I'd expect from a band with song titles like I Hate Buffering and Big Wiggly Style, but hey, times change. They've started to take themselves a little more seriously and it's showing. Soundwise it's great. Adam D is one of the greatest producers in the metalcore scene today, and everything he works on packs a huge punch. This is no exception. // 8
Lyrics: In a vocal sense, I was never really a fan of The Devil Wears Prada. And unfortunately, I don't think that will ever change. Something about Mike's screamed vocals just really rub me the wrong way. I mean, his low screams are okay, his shouts are okay, but his highs oh lord, his highs are such a turnoff. He sounds like he's blown his voice out before. I'm almost sure of it, because as much as I didn't like his vocals before, I like them even less now. They definitely have that post-burnout sound to them. There were multiple times throughout the album where I thought They should just have Tim Lambesis do vocals instead. Because really, next to the occasional bum riff, the shoddy vocals are really a low point here. However, not all is lost; because guitarist Jeremy DePoyster's clean vocals on this album are great. I think he improves on every album. There are plenty of catchy choruses on Dead Throne, perfect for sing-alongs. Tracks like Born to Lose are sure to be crowd favorites at live shows. Oh, and speaking of Tim, he actually does make a guest appearance on the song Constance.
Lyrically, Dead Throne revolves around a central theme of anti-idolatry. Mike Hranica explains in an interview, The record is mostly based on idolatry. There's a lot of different lyrical content. It's not a concept record, but a lot of it has to do with anti-idolatry... it's the idea of putting up our idols, heroes, and entities we worship onto a figurative throne. Those things won't stay up there, and they're not meant to be up there. That idea behind Dead Throne is making kings out of things that shouldn't be kings. It's an interesting spin on the whole Christian metalcore thing, because if you think about it, it's not exclusively a religious concept at all. Denouncing the praise of false heroes can be something that anyone can get behind, whether you're a spiritual or secular person. So I applaud them for picking a theme that can be applied universally but still sticks with the overall message of the band. Real shame about the vocals, though. // 6
Overall Impression: If I had to pick one band for a Most Improved Band of the Year award, I think it would come down to a close call between Born of Osiris and The Devil Wears Prada. Both were bands that I for the most part could not stand in the past, yet both have turned themselves around and surpassed my (admittedly low) expectations for them. However, even though the margin by which TDWP have improved is larger, Dead Throne is ultimately lacking in replay value. This album was great the first few times I listened to it, but once you get over how much they've changed, it's just another metalcore album. Which isn't to say that it isn't a good one. It's definitely above the level of their former peers. Tracks like Born to Lose, Holdfast, and Pretenders have convinced me to never group them in the MTV crabcore category ever again.
This is a good metalcore album in the same way that Parkway Drive's first few albums were good metalcore albums. It has some of the same tricks that we've been seeing for a while, but its execution, while not perfect, is above the industry average. I find it funny how The Devil Wears Prada became heavier as their career went on. You usually see the opposite with bands in this vein, and people end up calling those bands sellouts. Ironically, some of TDWP's fans were actually upset about the new heavier sound when Zombie was released. Have the band figured out the opposite of selling out? Changing your sound to appeal to less people? Well, just listen to the album and see for yourself. // 7
Mistermetee, on september 13, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Within the past five years The Devil Wears Prada have consistently proven to be one of the biggest and most unique bands in modern metalcore. They have released 3 albums and one EP throughout their carreer and have headlined multiple tours including the Vans Warped Tour. They're most recent LP With Roots Above and Branches Below is considered by many to be a staple of modern metalcore. That being said all three of their LP's have had generally the same sound and dynamics to them; high pitched growl, low pitched growl, breakdown, clean chorus, repeat. In my opinion With Roots was the last time they could use that same formula and get away with it without too much critique from metal buff's like myself who are fed up with the same thing over and over again. Honestly I didn't have too much hope that DWP would be able to stay alive in the metal world until I heard Zombie EP which changed everything. The sheer aggresion and power that is apparent in Zombie EP is just what the band needed to stay afloat.
With all of that background knowledge now ground into your fat metalhead skull I can now say that Dead Throne would either make or break the respect I had for this band and I could not wait to hear what they had done. Once I started up the first track I was immediately immersed into a world of fury and anger that would remain apparent throughout the entire record. The beautiful guitar work and the spine-tingling vocals make for the most powerful and alltogether heavy sound that DWP has ever created. Each song is just the right length to keep you tuned in without getting bored or zoning out and they're all different enough from eachother so that it doesn't feel as though you're listening to the same song over and over again, which is a problem DWP have encountered in the past.The slow and relatively eerie tracks Chicago and Kansas make for a perfect intermission between songs so as to give the listener a time to recooperate from the bludgeoning heaviness on each half of the album. Each track fits in perfectly with the rest creating a true masterpiece of an album and most certainly DWP's best of all time. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on Dead Throne are not much different than the lyrics on their other albums but they definetely fit in better on Dead Throne than they ever have. This is mainly because this is the first DWP LP to not include irritating and altogether immature song titles that just make it so that the seemingly serious sounding songs cannot be taken seriously. This shows a sign of maturity for DWP which was something that they definetely needed to show. Now, the lyrics about god, war, love, and life in general can be understood better than they have been on past records. Also Mike Hranica's layered vocals on Dead Throne add to each song to make it heavier and more original sounding so that the songs on Dead Throne differentiate from past DWP songs. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall this is the best DWP album of all time (although zombie ep is close to being #1) and most certainly the heaviest. The entire produciton was exectuted perfectly from the crisp sounding vocals, to the album titles that are finally meaningful and relevant to the songs themselves. Not only is this the best DWP album of all time, in my opinion it's one of the best albums of 2011. Although I love every track on this album the few standouts are My Questions, Untitaled, and Constance. This album is a staple in any metalhead's library, long time DWP fans, and new fans. Please support these guys and buy this masterpiece album and be sure to catch them on the Dead Throne Tour in the fall of 2011 with supporting acts Enter Shikari, Whitechapel, and For Today. // 10
SGofawesome, on september 13, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Hardcore, Metalcore, anything of the sort, has been regarded to metal elitists as a "disgrace to metal" or "untalented noise" over and over again. Although I can agree with this statement, considering the abundance of hardcore bands nowadays that put me to sleep...
...The Devil Wears Prada is one among the few hardcore bands that I consider to be the best act to come out of the scream-ridden scene. TDWP has infused the classic riffs and thrashy guitar well known to the late 80's thrash/death scene and morphed it with the melody of the common hardcore scene of today. If people listened to the music, they can actually find that the guitars are in full throttle, soaring down the road of metal.
Dead Throne, their newest release, has been highly anticipated for the past year since the inception of the well-received "Zombie" EP. Trading the common hardcore for pure thrash on the EP showed fans promise of what was to come with the new record.
Dead Throne shows what many fans expected, a record driven by the guitar that made Zombie so great and the melody that made previous record "With Roots Above and Branches Below" golden. The sound, instrumentally, is uncompromising and straight-foward. There is an overall sound to the record, very thick and riff-like. Mike Hranica, vocalist, has high screams that are unmatched by no other vocalist in metal, shown here. The growls we loved from "Zombie" are absent, replaced with a slightly awkward growl. No need to worry though, the listener gets used to it as the album goes on.
However, the negative side to having the sound is the track listing. As silly as it sounds, I was unimpressed listening to the first part of the record because the sound is the same, showing rare melody and clean vocals from guitarist Jeremy Depoyster. Classic songs from the record like "R.I.T.", "Dead Throne", and "Mammoth" are better than the track listing treats them. By the time the second track, "Untidaled", was finished, I was bored with "Mammoth" and the songs that followed.
"R.I.T." was an amazing song released as a single, however it was caught in the doldrums of the same sound that was previous.
"My Questions" breaks free of the common sound that preceded it, with the gut-busting guitar riffs we love, sprinkled with the promised melody that is shown in the "Roots" album. It has added enthusiasm due to the fact that the song shows exactly what was promised by the members of the band.
Following is "Kansas", the only instrumental written by the band. I fell in love with it as soon as the song started, it was perfectly placed in the middle of the track list. The song embarks on a silent, ambient journey that has only been delved into in such songs as "Louder than Thunder" (Roots), "Texas is South" (Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord) and the break to "Survivor" (Zombie). This aspect improves even more with "Chicago", a track equally as impressive instrumentally as "Kansas". "Chicago" again features the high scream of Mike and is VERY well included. The agressive vocals do not take away from the peace of the song whatsoever, and instead make it even more interesting than "Kansas", one of the better tracks in itself.
"Born to Lose" is the classic single from the album. Personally, I think there are better features on the album, but this is certainly not a track to miss. Like "My Questions", the track leads you through angry vocals and guitar with a chorus that has the melody of "Roots" taken to another level. The intro is possibly the best part of the song, not to say that the rest of the tune is lesser.
"Forever Decay" is heavy like predecessors "R.I.T." and "Vengeance". However, the song is eons ahead of the other two because of the slight added melody and the extreme bass by Andy Trick. Reminiscent of "Zombie" and a bit of "Plagues", this song is a standout track for any metalhead.
"Constance" is also another standout for a few reasons. The song has possibly the most brutal instrumental tracking done on the album (Holdfast takes that award), the melody and vocals by DePoyster are better than ever, and the end. The end is possibly the greatest moment in the history of TDWP, for Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying lays down not only the most evil breakdown of TDWP, but easily the most evil moment of his career as well. If you check out one song from this record, make it this one.
"Pretenders" is passable. It features some interesting composition, hinting at a bit of doom metal, but could have been passed without care.
The ending song of the record is "Holdfast" and features the best riff that guitarist Chris Rubey has ever composed. It's true thrash metal, and strays nowhere near hardcore. A personal favorite of mine because of how brutal the musicianship is.
The album has a unique sound to it, but at points strays from diversity and seems to sacrifice musicianship for brutality (possibly in attempt to outdo "Zombie"), however very briefly does it do so. Every other TDWP record done so far has a new sound. Doing this as a hardcore act is rare, and they have done it well. Great tracks to be had on Dead Throne. Consider this a new chapter for the band, bringing yet another new style to the table. // 9
Lyrics: TDWP is known for being one of the few christian acts on the scene, and ever since their debut of "Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord", they have achieved at writing some of the most meaningful and impressive lyrics I've read. Dead Throne does no less.
The album's overall theme magnifies idolatry (the state of being when one worships a worldly object or being instead of a spiritual being, specifically Jesus Christ in this case). The religion gets in no way (it shouldn't anyways) of the diverse words used to describe the theme.
The way the words were used to accompany some of the most brutal tracks TDWP has ever laid down is mind-blowing. Look to the track "Constance" if you don't believe me.
Impressive lyrics by Mike Hranica, as usual. // 10
Overall Impression: The Devil Wears Prada has brought us, yet again, another classic. It is too new for me to personally say that it is better than "With Roots Above and Branches Below" yet, but that could be hard because I listen to every track from that album consistently. The album shows a bridge between "Roots" and the "Zombie" EP, which is a very amusing approach for new fans and old. Nonetheless, Dead Throne takes the throne (pun intended) as yet another classic metalcore album in the library of metal.
There was a lot of potential with the first 5 tracks, but being clumped up together in the order they were in earns none of them a spot in my top 5.
The top 5 songs from the album are:
5: Forever Decay
DO NOT LET THE BEGINNING FOOL YOU, THE ALBUM GETS BETTER.
If I owned this album (it streamed today), and had I lost it, I would by all means buy it again. Great record, beats "Plagues" and "Dear Love", and has serious potential once it releases. // 8
Bluesmetalguy, on september 13, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Devil Wears Prada is back and they are still Christian metal lords. Their new album is chock full of roaring guitars and soaring solos. The rhythm section is tight as usual with their harsh attack. James Baney plays the keyboards and gives Devil Wears Prada a new level of symphony that they didn't have on their previous records. The vocals of Mike Hranica and Jeremy DePoyster are both excellent and provide nice contrast. Devil Wears Prada continues their morally positive lyrical themes on this record. TDWP proves that they can still produce sick songs 4 albums into their career and they show no signs of letting up. All in all this is a really tight TDWP album with an extremely strong guitar sound.
The first thing that struck me about this album is the sheer attack and a key example of this attack is found in the guitar assault. From the first mind ripping riff of Dead Throne you can tell that this is going to be a fun guitar album. And you are not disappointed. There are some nice metalcore solos on this record, but nothing is amazingly mindblowing or explosive. In fact the few solos that there are almost hidden under huge rhythm parts. Yet the sheer attack found in the rhythm section is brilliant. An advantage to this album is that the riffs are a lot more listenable than on previous records. In other words on this disc the guitar riffs have a huge attack but the riffs are a lot more fun than on previous releases like With Roots Above and Branches Below.
The rhythm section is also responsible for a good portion of the attack. The role of bassist Andy Trick has been vastly increased with sick bass parts in songs like Untidaled and Pretenders. Have really fallen in love with his bass work and would love to hear more from him especially in tracks like Chicago where he could provide so much more. The drums of Daniel Williams are excellent. I love how he provides some tasty fills during the breakdowns. Speaking of breakdowns this album actually uses a lot fewer than previous TDWP efforts. However on this record they are better placed and a lot nicer.
The keyboards of James Baney have really advanced in level and have become a lot more fun to listen too. James provides a lot more symphonic keyboard work on this album than on previous efforts. Yet he takes on a more dominant role in tracks like Kansas and R.I.T two of my favorite songs from the album. Here his great keyboard chops add a nice lead instrumental part to the music and add a melodic feel to the music. During the breakdowns his keyboard parts make the music seem epic in scale. My one issues with the keyboard is that in some tracks it could be more present and I feel that on their next release TDWP should feature even more of Baney's keyboard work. In short Baney's keyboard chops have only evolved since the last record and they come across better than ever here bringing TDWP to a whole new level. // 8
Lyrics: Mike Hranica has really out done himself vocally on this one. He can shriek and growl extremely well and can mix shrieks and growls amazingly well often in the same couplet. You get an image of him as a dark figure off in the distance spreading his beautifully bleak music across the world. Hranica really has advanced. Yet he is not the most improved member of the group, that would be our friend James DePoyster. His voice has evolved so much and its gotten to the point that he could very easily front his own band. He has become a new spirit for TDWP and is proof that they have plenty of places to advance to.
The lyrics on this record are excellent. They show a lot of evolution from the days of Spongebob Grindpants. Now their lyrics are much more evolved and complex. One of my favorite verses is from Born to Lose it runs You don't know what you need/We're all so back and forth/Nothing is as it seems/You don't know what you need/We make the same mistakes/We've ruined everything. This shows true evolution from the old days of TDWP. This band has really broken through lyrically. My sole issue is that these lyrics are a bit too focused on idolatry and I feel that TDWP could have much more intelligent lyrics if they diversified a bit more. // 9
Overall Impression: All in all The Devil Wears Prada has fulfilled every expectation. As they had previously announced, this is their heaviest and most intelligent album. They have really made it for me. This is it for TDWP. They have really broken through. The guitars are heavy and crunchy, with a few decent solos. The bass has a HUGE roll and great fills that do not fail to impress. The drums are solid and very well done. To round out the instruments, the keyboard is good and symphonic adding a nice feel to this band's sound. The vocals are excellent and the clean vocals have really progressed. Finally the lyrics are intelligent and TDWP is no longer a dumb metalcore band, but instead a much more cultured one. To finish, this album ROCKS! Go check it out folks.
If you like my stuff please check out my sight. // 9
ninjagayden777, on september 13, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Devil Wears Prada have always been a defining force in modern metalcore. From their first Rise release (Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord) to their last Ferret E.P. (Zombie), their sound has been constantly changing. Dead Throne marks a total overhaul from previous works yet again, bringing something almost refreshing and new. Gone are the copious amounts of breakdowns (though they still exist in moderation), the heavy reliance on clean vocals, and generally higher tunings (this outing is completely in Drop-B).
The opener, Dead Throne, sets the listener up for what to expect from this release, easing through a fading intro into a full out attack from every aspect of the band. The tone doesn't let up soon, either. Untidaled's crunchy intro riff and delay ridden bridge are among TDWP's heaviest and most impressive lines, and even a clean sung chorus doesn't let up on the assault. Mammoth straight out grooves through metal ferocity and punk energy. Vengeance shows a return to older work, with more octaves and clean vocal work, only to be overridden by the standout, R.I.T., which could be TDWP's heaviest track ever.
My Questions, while not so much of a standout, boasts one hell of a catchy chorus, and leads into one of the album's biggest surprises: Kansas, a 3 1/2 minute instrumental highlighting the vast amount of musical maturity this band has undertaken. The first single, Born To Lose, rocks some interesting guitar leads and crunchy riffs, but kind of falls short compared to the other tracks. Forever Decay boasts an intro riff the likes of As I Lay Dying, and segues into ferocious drum bombardments and subtly haunting keyboard flourishes.
Chicago boasts impressive, semi-clean delay work, building into a wall of sound cleanly and efficiently. Constance is a mid-tempo grove-fest, relying mostly on riffs and a few interesting leads. Pretenders is the closest thing to a standard metalcore track this album sports, being almost completely carried by breakdowns. The closing track, Holdfast closes the album on a semi-upbeat tone, being carried mostly by delayed leads and crunchy backing riffs. // 9
Lyrics: "Back for the fourth time around, and still meaning every word," Mike loudly proclaims on Untidaled, and he definitely means it. His lyrical delivery on Dead Throne is both passionate and aggressive, loving and spiteful. His lyrics back a vicious punch, and almost never let up. The topics range from materialism ("There is no solace, there is no alleviation in all our money, or within her golden teeth" - Mammoth), the harshness of the world ( "I'm born to lose with a noose around my neck/ World be damned and move forward" - Born To Lose), and substance abuse ("Is this what you've worked for? Running your false empire into the ground/ what is this substance that made your very own morals change?" - Vengeance).
Vocally, the band has some new tricks up their sleeves. Mike has extended his range from the simple high-low-high-low to incorporate mids and an almost hardcore punk-ish bark. Guitarist and clean vocalist Jeremy DePoyster sings more confidently than ever, finally finding his comfort zone vocally, which he happens to share with Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, who helped craft some of the clean melodies on the album. // 9
Overall Impression: Dead Throne is metalcore done correctly. Never boring, always progressive, and as melodious as it is blisteringly heavy. The sheer amount of improvement from the band's debut is staggering, and leaves one almost skeptical that this could be the same band.
This release definitely solidifies The Devil Wears Prada's name amongst metalcore greats. While not as technical as acts such as Killswitch Engage, TDWP's sludgy, riffy style has, and will continue, to influence imitators. Yet, no matter how many copy cat bands emerge in the scene there's only one The Devil Wears Prada.
For fans of: As I Lay Dying, Texas In July, For Today
Standout tracks: R.I.T., Dead Throne, Kansas // 9
Cloudkicker, on october 25, 2011 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album to me is a major comeback album to The Devil Wears Prada after a few "Ok" albums such as "With Roots Above Branches Below" and the "Zombie" EP. This is the bands' fifth release and to me it brings me back to the "Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord" and "Plagues" days where the their music was to me more heavy, melodic and technical then their newer stuff which to me is over saturated in synth and production. This album is much heavier than what I expected it to be with much more secondary vocals and tight riff's. // 8
Lyrics: The Devil Wears Prada's lyrics had always intrigued me, if you read them they are the kind of lyrics that just make you sit and think but you can get a good idea about the general topics of their songs based off their religious influence. I was not entirely impressed with lead singer Mike Hranica's voice on this album it seems to me that it is dying out which is not uncommon with years of the metalcore growls and screams. But with that said I was greatly impressed with the rest of the bands vocals in songs like mammoth which brings gang vocals, and in the beginning has one of those Melodic hardcore punk bridges which really surprised me coming from these guys. // 7
Overall Impression: Overall I think this album is a pretty good one, I would not go out and buy a hard copy but it was worth the digital download. I definitely enjoyed the new factors of it like the more melodic stuff and going back to its roots of their older stuff, definitely a step up from their last full length though. // 8
JamesWojak, on december 02, 2011 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Devil Wears Prada's sound has evolved so much over these past years, its at the point where all I can say is; what's left?! There is literally nowhere for them to take their sound at this point. I was raised on Prada's music, and have been waiting for an album similiar to "Plagues", and if that's what you were looking for aswell, look away. I'll do some songs that I felt I enjoyed.
The album kicks off with a rising drum/Keys intro, which progresses into the song "Dead Throne" and also sports the beginning of Prada's newfound Pitched vocals. Overall, throw some lyrics about zombies on this song, and it could've been on the EP.
"Untidaled": for me was an unimpressive track, it seems like Prada's been progressing off of Chris's guitar writing, and I would've preferred to hear more high end to his tone. The breakdowns, and riffing seems to drone on. If your going to be Guitar orientated, don't be boring about it, I'm not saying shred like a mofo, just be more elaborate. The song does pick up around the "chorusy" part.
"Mammoth": I definitely found "Mammoth" to be enjoyable, but mostly for the harmony in the clean vocal/screaming parts, but a big downfall? Was when I realized that Prada started tuning to Drop A, more on that later.
"My Question" This song was a pretty decent one for me, although it was the plagues I was waitng for, it did sport a very "WRAABB" feel, which isn't overly bad for me.
"Chicago": this song was probably my favorite, because of the lyrical intensity, and the vocal tracking. Its definitely a "Defeater and Prada had a baby" kinda song. Which is kind of a bad thing, again more on that later.
That's all for sound, none of the other songs, except maybe "Constance" caught my ear, but that's just because AILD is in the song derp. // 7
Lyrics: Here's where TDWP can get some marks for this album. Mike Hranica has always been a hard hitting lyricist, and this album is no exception. There are also songs that branch off of the main theme of idolatry. So its good to read Mikes thoughts on a new topic. Songs like "My Question" and "Mammoth" really give off some emotion in the writing. And of course "Chicago" is quite elaborate and expressive aswell.
So what's wrong with "Dead Throne"'s vocals? Well lets delve deep here. With a recent rise in pitched vocals in Metalcore, I really feel that Prada felt the chokehold and caved in. I watched some of the studio videos for recording the album, and at one point "A Wound And Scar" by Defeater was playing in the background of the video.
And all of a sudden TDWP is incorporating Pitched vocals into their music similar to defeater. That decision was obviously heavily influenced by what "the kids these days" are listening to. Tsk tsk. But still, I'll be generous with a nice 8. // 8
Overall Impression: My biggest problem with this album, is the drop A tuning. 3 TIMES PRADA, that's how many times you've changed your tuning, and the worst was in "WRAABB" where they used drop D and B, its like... Make up your mind at least. But now, for them to tune EVEN lower just to appeal to the "metal" guys, is kinda silly. We get it... The guy from AILD is on your album, you guys are metal.
The only positive things I can say about the impression of this album is, some of the riffs in the odd song are complimentary towards the vocalists, and enjoyable, lyrically Jeremy, and Mike did what they always did with some added pitch vocals to keep the scenie babies interested. I guess you can't completely blame them.
If I could change one thing about this album? I would just loosen everything up, the guitar is so chug chug chug, and droning, the drums are boring, compared to how they used to be on previous albums (not just plagues). And someone tell me why they have a keyboardist? Because it was cool 5 years ago? More of a rant than a review. Sorry Prada and fans but this album just didn't sit right with me. // 7
DanElston, on june 20, 2014 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The skills of the singer on this record make me feel frustrated, tired and pissed off at the world I live in. The singer's, Mike Hranica's tone and feeling in his voice is equally matched with the album's lyrics dealing with bullshit, frustration with dealing with ignorance and just the tired days that the lyrics go through. His voice in this records is pleading to God, to the skies, and most of all to himself. Screaming "If I could change things, I'd change myself" with desperate hopelessness and surrender. The quality of the sound is very well produced, it sounds polished but not to polished to a point where it looses it's gritty edge. It is a heavy record. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are less lyric and are more of a poetic diary of a person on the bring of sanity. The lyrics deal with false idols, condemnation, and a pleading cry to God, or in a more general case, a pleading to something you believe in. The words the are being dealt with in "Dead Throne" tell you this: everything that you look up to and believe in, is not at all true, you have been deceived by the lies of our plastic idols. With the album's opening lines stating in assurance, "What you hold dear is a false account/What you hold dear offers no salvation," already laying out the concept of the album with these opening lines, matched with a drum of doom to accompany your own doom. The lyrics are straight to the point, no bullshit, no chance of forgiveness, the world has fucked up and The Devil Wears Prada wants you to know that and put it to shame. // 8
Overall Impression: This album is more musically, lyrically, and morally mature than previous outputs that the band has put out. It seems that with every album they put out, they grow more as people and human beings, and that is reflected in the sound and lyrics. It is not "Reptar, King of the Ozone" anymore, it is "Pretenders," "Born to Lose," "My Questions." Their most real and human effort so far. The songs that stand out for me are:
"Dead Throne" - The opener for the album that sets the wheel in motion and gives you a birds eye view of the whole mess we have created. Musically dynamic and emotional.
"Kansas" - This is an instrumental that has an intro that could have easily be put on while looking down at the ocean on a Seattle day. Very dynamic in instrumentation. The way they made the clean guitar transition so well with the distortion that followed it. Interesting track!
"Born to Lose" - The most that stand out about this song is the lyrics. They are very depressing. Depressing not in an emo way, but in a, I'm worth nothing, but you are worth nothing too, sort of way. With a very catchy but rock-hard chorus from clean vocalist, Jeremy Depoyster. Self mutilating while stating, "Born To Lose with a noose around my neck."
"Chicago" - Out of all the tracks, this one has to be my favorite, because it is a build up of frustration, anger and loss, put through so harshly through bass, guitar, drums, keyboard and vocals. Starting with an echo ridden guitar, signaling desolation in ruins, loneliness. With Mike's vocals that sound way too tired and stretched thin, as if a dagger has gone through his heart, in his final moment, he sings: "In this grave hour/I have composed our final song: the last words of our love lost." What is so special about this track is that in so many dimensions and in so many levels, figuratively, symbolically, emotionally, physically, and whatever the f--k, Mike Hranica's voice is the most real thing that I have ever heard in a metalcore, death metal, heavy metal, whatever the f--k metal. His voice is screaming for self-help. But, he knows he is not getting nothing from this.
I love this album, the only thing I hate is the way I have to hold the album package to read the lyrics, because the packaging and folding is so weirdly shaped, but, I love the packaging because of that too. I have never seen a record box be folded and opened in such a manner. // 7