Sound — 7
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.
Lyrics — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 7
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.