8:18 review by The Devil Wears Prada

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  • Released: Sep 17, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.1 (115 votes)
The Devil Wears Prada: 8:18
2

Sound — 8
The Devil Wears Prada is a Christian melodic metalcore band formed in 2005, and since that time they have released four previous albums, making "8:18" their fifth release. This will also be their first album not to feature their original keyboardist, James Baney, who left the band in 2012. Otherwise, the band retains all the other founding members. They are unique as a Christian band for having made a name for themselves with both the Christian and secular communities, and playing many large secular tours and festivals. "8:18" is their fifth full length studio release, containing 13 tracks clocking in at just a little under 45 minutes. There have been 3 singles already released from the album: "Martyrs," "Home for Grave" and "First Sight." The album opens with the track "Gloom," which does a good job of creating a vibe to match the track's title and utilizes a lot of vocal processing and keyboards. "Gloom" also displays some gang vocals in the chorus. Next up is "Rumors," which has a couple of really cool little tempo changes and an interesting melody on the keyboard. "Rumors" is also the first track on the album that shows off DePoyster's clean vocals on the album. "First Sight," which was the third single from the album, has a little recurring guitar lick that has a neo-classical feel to it and some of my favorite un-clean vocals on the album. "War" is my favorite song on the album, instrumentally, because while it is possibly one of the least heavy songs on the album, it has one of the most interesting vibes on the album. The title track, "8:18," which I assume is reference to a Bible chapter and verse, is heavy on groove (in the realm of music by The Devil Wears Prada), but is another song that isn't really as heavy as I was hoping/expecting it to be. "Sailor's Prayer" is probably the most stereotypically metalcore of any song on the album with some fast repetitive riffing but it definitely grew on me more with subsequent listens. "Care More" definitely stood out from the rest of the album, starting out more like what you would expect from Imagine Dragons (though it does have a few slightly heavier passages in it) but it was a nice little interlude in the middle of the album. "Martyrs," the first album single, is almost like the standard pounding double bass drums and screeching vocals you expect from The Devil Wears Prada on their previous releases, but honestly a sound I thought they had moved away from. The track "Black & Blue" starts out with a sinister melody and builds to a frantic track with dramatic static-filled pauses and gang vocal choruses. "Transgress" starts out with a strong melody emphasized by the drums and a clean guitar riff, but quickly builds to be a very intense track and contains my favorite vocal performance on the album from Hranica. "Number Eleven" starts out with some keyboard/synth that I think is supposed to sound like wolves howling, and is followed up by some of my favorite guitar riffing on the album. "Home for Grave," the second single on the album, has an interesting composition going on with fairly heavy passages and very sparse passages and once again, this is a track that uses a lot of dramatic pausing. The album closes out with the track "In Heart," which is a weird mix of melancholy and aggression, and had a really catch guitar melody underlying the rhythm. The album is mixed really well for the most part, dodging the problems I hear in a lot of metalcore of making bad decisions with the levels on the drums or vocals.

Lyrics — 7
Mike Hranica provides lead vocals, while rhythm guitarist Jeremy DePoyster provides clean vocals for the album. While I've really tried to like Hranica's vocals, I just can't do it. For the most part his voice seems to have too much of a whining quality to it that I just couldn't get behind, though I did enjoy it at moments mostly on the tracks "In Heart" and "Transgress." On the other hand, I feel like DePoyster has some of the most solid clean vocals you can find in an active metalcore band these days, and enjoyed almost all of his work on the album. As a sample of the lyrics from the album, here are some from "Home for Grave": "The normal man, promised all things/ Brought into this, taken by pain/ He mistook home for grave/ The normal man, filtered by hate/ Living to pay, buying what's fake/ He mistook home for grave/ It's not what we're made to be/ So why'd he do it? / I guess he just did not know/ I guess we just do what we're told/ The anthem cries, but why listen? / I guess we just do what we're told/ Betrayed again, betrayed again/ What began as life for him was only sorrow, was only shame/ It's like the story of disgrace/ Fraught with peril every day/ So why'd he do it? / I guess he just did not know."

Overall Impression — 8
The bottom line is this is a very solid album for its genre, and it even has a few surprises in it. My favorite tracks from the album would probably be "Care More," "Transgress," "Home for Grave" and "Number Eleven." I didn't necessarily dislike any songs on the album, though I was most underwhelmed by the track "Martyrs." While Hranica's voice didn't win me over on this album, he does seem to be moving more towards what I would like to hear with unclean vocals and hopefully he'll keep it up.

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51 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Covin
    I read that they avoided producing the vocals as much as possible. They wanted them to be extra-raw. I'm interested in how that will compliment the darker music, although...The Chariot, anyone?
    Skyvalve2012
    Really hope this can match up to "Zombie EP"... And for a metalcore band to experiment...thank you!
    vppark2
    It's their best yet imo. Clean vocals are actually pretty great on this. Lyrical content is very poetic much like their past 2 releases, and Mike's vocals are so gritty. Oh, and guitar riffs are heavy as ****. Drumming is much better and noticeable. Quite possibly my favorite metalcore album of the year.
    BwareDWare94
    I seriously doubt the clean vocals are great. Nasally clean vocals can't be great.
    vppark2
    In your world, maybe. Also, where are you getting these lousy assumptions that it's "nasally"?
    BwareDWare94
    How do I know that they're nasally? I have ears.
    vppark2
    Whatever dude. Clearly, youre just not a fan of his voice. Im done here.
    BwareDWare94
    Oh, stop it. There's no point in being sensitive over someone who dislikes a band you like and can justify his reasons. The guy is a bad singer who sings through his nose.
    LiveLikeThis
    Get them checked. Both your ears and brain. Jeremy's voice sounds fine. Quit complaining.
    BwareDWare94
    If you think that's a good signing voice, perhaps it's your ears that need checking.
    vppark2
    Dude, stop trying to convince us that his voice sucks. We get it. I'm sure he's better than most singers on the radio today, such as Robin Thicke. Blegh. Now I'm done seeing your comments. Say no more.
    vppark2
    Gloom, Rumors, First Sight, and Sailor's Prayer are my favorites. Been listening to this ever since it leaked. 8/10.
    SGofawesome
    After a few listens, I came to this conclusion: -With the production on Dead Throne, I was very satisfied with the composition and the much darker and heavier sound. However, I didn't like the production of the guitars. I thought it really lacked atmosphere - something the band is mainly about - and the guitars just sounded really raw. I think they fixed that well on 8:18. Great production, lots of keys/synth (not in a bad way). -I think this album flows a lot better than Dead Throne did. DT felt like a group of good songs rather than a good record as a whole, to me. 8:18 flows very well, with smooth transitions and lots of style changes. -My BIG problem is that, whether you like it or not, Mike's performance on this album is awful. This is coming from a HUGE fan who has loved them nonstop since Plagues, and Mike is a huge influence. But I can't deny that his vocals are strained and he just doesn't have the power he had on the previous three albums. This also shows live, as I've seen them (gonna be five times in November) and each time he gets worse. Jeremy really picked it up on this album, though. I'd say for vocals alone, 8:18 isn't as good as Dead Throne, Zombie, or Roots is. I think it's better than Plagues and Dear Love because it's a much more mature sound, but those vocals really ruin it. If he had the vocal performance of Zombie on 8:18, this album easily would've been their best yet.
    vppark2
    But to also ask, is it worth seeing them now? A headlining tour? I really want to go bc The Ghost Inside and Texas In July are also supporting.
    SGofawesome
    I don't care for any of the support bands myself - I actually quite hate this genre of music. The breakdown-chug-chord-screamo style metalcore is not my thing. However, I do really like TDWP, but don't really know why. Just feel like they capture better atmosphere than most bands. Is it worth seeing them now? Sure, Mike may not be doing near as good as he did in the Roots days but it's still one of the most fun shows I've ever been to. The stage setup is usually pretty cool and Mike is always moving. Plus, TDWP headliners leave a lot of room for them to play a wide range of their music, although they usually play the newest stuff first and foremost. Last time I saw them, they co-headlined with As I Lay Dying, and they played a LOT of Dead Throne stuff and NOTHING from Dear Love or Plagues, so they'll probably play a lot of 8:18 stuff. I do think that the flow of the set has gotten a lot better though, now that they have songs like Kansas, Chicago, Care More, and 8:18 to put some atmosphere over the crowd. It's a trip, so yeah I'd say go. Hell, like I said, this will be my fifth time and it's always a blast.
    vppark2
    Im honestly the same way. TDWP is in my top 5 favorite bands, and it's not just bc theyre not your typical metalcore band, but it's the way they write their songs. Lyrically, vocally, and even instrumentally it's much different than the slew of core bands on Rise and Fearless Records. Theyre one of the bands that has came out in recent years that I very much enjoy, along with Parkway Drive and August Burns Red.
    vppark2
    Well said. I havent seen them live since Warped '11 but I am planning on seeing them in Dec. I wonder how different itll be in just 2 years time.
    BwareDWare94
    I had to watch them play after (and get a longer set) than Dark Tranquillity. While it irritated me that a legendary band was opening for these cats, I will admit that I was impressed by their lead vocalist, live, and this record doesn't capture him at all, from the few tracks I've heard. vppark is right--I don't like this band. They were chugs, chords, and nasally clean sung choruses when I saw them live. I'll give them credit for becoming more than that, with Zombie and this release, but I doubt I'll ever be one to purchase their records. I can't handle the high pitched singing of bands like TWDP or BlesstheFall, with the one exception being Saosin. At least they're evolving.
    vppark2
    How about Chiodos? Im not nearly a fan of high-pitched vocals either. I think Coheed and Cambria does it best tho.
    BwareDWare94
    With the evolving comment, I meant TWDP, not Saosin. Saosin has kinda lost me in recent years.
    DavesCrusade
    I was a fan up until the Zombie EP. But the dirty vocals got bad. Seriously bad, like, to the point where I can't listen to it. Which is a shame, because Zombie and before are all great releases. Plus, they started down tuning and it just sounds too "sludgy" in my opinion.
    Skyvalve2012
    Zombie EP, is ironically, the release that turned around my opinion of TDWP. It was brutal, dark, morbid...you know.
    JDL123
    i agree. Zombie was definitely their peak. I'm pretty sure Mike through out his voice after that cause DT and 8:18 are so weak compared to their older stuff
    vppark2
    Ironically, I disliked their debut album but got into Plagues. From there on out I've really enjoyed Mike's vocals. The change I respect. And I can still listen to their stuff before Zombie EP, but I enjoy current Prada much more. That being said, I thought Dead Throne was a bit boring. 8:18 definitely brings their full potential to the table.
    registered_user
    Oh man I thought the growls on Zombie were SO brutal and awesome. Zombie is a close second to Plagues for me.
    Craziork
    Sludgy breakdown, overdriven chuggy transitions, octave powerchords, freaked out harsh vocal, drum thrills... I would like to see more original ideas from them in their next release.
    Panasonic3
    these things come with the metalcore territory dood if you want originality in a similar light, listen to Between the Buried and Me.
    BwareDWare94
    The harsh vocals are comical lol
    vppark2
    Get out.
    l0ld4v3
    I don't understand why you can't take a critic, meant towards something that's not you. That the vocals might be comical for him doesn't means he needs to be kicked out. I've had people mock shit that I like, as I have mocked shit peeps enjoy. It's all cool.