With Roots Above And Branches Below review by The Devil Wears Prada

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  • Released: May 5, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (178 votes)
The Devil Wears Prada: With Roots Above And Branches Below
11

Sound — 10
Good lord is this album heavy. Pun most certainly intended. The Devil Wears Prada are back with quite possibly their heaviest album yet, which is definitely showcased in a couple songs that feature a Drop-B tuning. That's right folks, Drop D 1.5 steps down. See: Assistant To The Regional Manager, Wapakalpyse. The guitar work is just as good as on Plagues, if not better. The mixture of heavy power chords and octave driven melodies is a signature sound for them, and they pull it off with flying colors yet again. Their sound has also matured as well. Aside from the crazy song titles, their music sounds like it has grown up a little more. One of the surprise tracks for me was "Louder Than Thunder", which almost sounds like a certain Underoath track off of "They're Only Chasing Safety". The only thing I didn't like was the transition into the next track, or at least how they decided to order the tracks. It felt like "Louder Than Thunder" should have been dead in the middle of the album, separating two parts. But I'm not in the band, so... Oh, and how could I forget the drums? Two words. Double Bass. And plenty of it. Okay so six. But seriously, it's sick.

Lyrics — 9
Either they bought an auto-tune device or Jeremy's clean vocals got much better in the time between albums. I choose the latter. The harmonies he pulls off in some of the tracks are unbeatable. As for Mike's screaming, well..you either love it or you hate it. A lot of people I know who have listened to TDWP say that's what turns them off to the band. I personally feel like he gets better and better each time they release an album. He really hasn't shown any differences in style from Plagues, but he doesn't growl as much this time. It's still there, just not as much... At least I thought. The lyrics, albeit Christian, are still pretty accessible even if you aren't Christian yourself.

Overall Impression — 9
Comparing it to other albums is like comparing apples to oranges. This album really stood out for me and made me gain a lot of respect for a band I can honestly say I couldn't stand before. I heard a bunch of hype over some new Christian hardcore band and upon first listen, I didn't want anything to do with them. Needless to say, my opinion has changed. Standout Tracks: "Sassafras", "Assistant To Regional Manager", "Big Wiggly Style", "Danger: Wildman", "Wapakalypse". Check it out. If you're a fan of anything similar, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

51 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bounzze
    The first time I heart it it totally suprised me, didn't expect it to be that good! Now, a few days later, I still stand by that. Although it's heavier that plagues I find it more accessible.
    ASStrostiffy666
    The name comes from the fact that they're anti-materialisic so the devil, which is evil, and prada, which I'm guessing is expensive lol so it shows that it's evil or something like that haha but its a good album IMO and they're a great band live(:
    Faux~Affliction
    I dunno, I don't find that this album sounds heavier. There seems to be more over-the-top cleans (albeit really good singing) and the screams are definitely alot less intense. It's also quite a bit more synthy, which I find sort of takes away from the heaviness, but at the same time is what gives this album a characteristic that intrigues me. Overall it's pretty good, they didn't change their music to total sell-outty poppy stuff, so I'm happy.
    The Spoon
    this album is a crap load better than the "music" on plagues and dear love. Mike's scream definately got more retarded, but its still a decent album. 8/10 for me
    LP4EVR
    i love this band and album 769578269563495783465789346578923/10
    YourMessiah666
    hmm thats weird i heard a couple songs on their myspace and thought it wasnt as good as dear love. from the tunes i heard it was too much singing from the guitarist and not enough screaming. but thanks i'll probly buy this :]
    Gregray88
    Not a fan of the band, but I like that they named a song after a quote from The Office
    Karmekarten
    Gregray88 wrote: Not a fan of the band, but I like that they named a song after a quote from The Office
    Yeah same here.. too mainstream.. not original.. the guitar work Sucked big time on their other albums( its just fast palm muting the low C..)but i'll give this album a shot.. assisstant to the regional manager... good idea haha
    suggy88
    TDWP is just simply annoying. i don't understand how people are able to listen to them. I know its all opinion, but its just so generic and the vocals are really bad.
    squallerrleon
    How they can disguise 5 songs as one song I'll never figure out. And the vocals. It's a matter 'does this count as vocals, cuz it sure aint singing'. Christian lyrics? what part of the Bible goes "rargh blah aaahhhhh must be difficult ooooouuruuuhhhhh"? If you edit the song to just the guitar/bass, it's the most boring crap ever. And take the parts as a whole, doesn't get better. Fix those Side(ways)burns on the top of your head.
    Novikka65
    Lt.DanHasLegs wrote: as for the name, they talk about it in the recent AP. its based off the book, one of the guys' mom had it on tape and they just thought it sounded cool. The screamer, who was not original, hates it but thinks its better than what they originally thought about naming it, five fish and a fish.
    where the hell did you here that from? yes they did get it from the book, but they got it because the believe in an anti-materialistic mind-set. But what do you mean their screamer isn't original? Not original as in his musicianship isn't original or that he isn't an original member? cause he is an original member... It seems that Devil is just one of those bands you either love or hate, I find them one of todays better metalcore bands, cause as much as metalcore is a very repetitive genre, there are still plenty of more repetitive bands that seem to use the same riff over and over on entire albums...
    Spoony_Bard
    These guys are good, but I just can't listen to them. They get going on something cool and immediately kill it with the cheesiest, groan-inducing breakdowns ever. I sat them live and they put on a good show though. Oh, and the pretentious song titles really turn me off to a band.
    Lt.DanHasLegs
    as for the name, they talk about it in the recent AP. its based off the book, one of the guys' mom had it on tape and they just thought it sounded cool. The screamer, who was not original, hates it but thinks its better than what they originally thought about naming it, five fish and a fish.
    huevos
    squallerrleon wrote: How they can disguise 5 songs as one song I'll never figure out. And the vocals. It's a matter 'does this count as vocals, cuz it sure aint singing'. Christian lyrics? what part of the Bible goes "rargh blah aaahhhhh must be difficult ooooouuruuuhhhhh "? If you edit the song to just the guitar/bass, it's the most boring crap ever. And take the parts as a whole, doesn't get better. Fix those Side(ways)burns on the top of your head.
    The best parts.
    xcrunner1
    I disagree with the reviewer, I like "Louder than Thunder" where it is. It reminds me of the way KSE used "Without a Name" a the soft track on AOJB to seperate the album closer "Rise Inside" from the parade of other songs. It gets you in a more introspective mood for the last song.
    erikpatrick
    jetfuel495 wrote: Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...Came from the book, in case you're wondering.
    yea ...they came after the book yea but thats not what it means to them. as far as i remember them saying they didnt even know about the book
    erikpatrick
    got_trivium? wrote: ConnorOnFire wrote: jetfuel495 wrote: Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...Came from the book, in case you're wondering. According to the band, it didn't. theres an interview on headbangers blog where they say its from the book. care to try again? This album absolutely amazing. Ben Has A Kid has the filthiest breakdown I've heard in a long time.
    you think again...watch the dvd from plagues.
    erikpatrick
    Co&Ca11 wrote: they are kinda generic but not bad, i might check this out
    only generic because other bands sound like them...they dont sound like other bands...and because this album was produced very well so it sounds so pure
    erikpatrick
    squallerrleon wrote: How they can disguise 5 songs as one song I'll never figure out. And the vocals. It's a matter 'does this count as vocals, cuz it sure aint singing'. Christian lyrics? what part of the Bible goes "rargh blah aaahhhhh must be difficult ooooouuruuuhhhhh"? If you edit the song to just the guitar/bass, it's the most boring crap ever. And take the parts as a whole, doesn't get better. Fix those Side(ways)burns on the top of your head.
    were you trying to say 1 song into 5? moron. where in their lyrics say "rargh blah aaahhhhh must be difficult ooooouuruuuhhhhh"? where in the bible does it say "only people that sound like pussies can sing about god"? and the shit isnt boring man, youre just here to knock shit.
    lllostmotelll
    Don't you guys know not to feed the trolls? They go away if you ignore them. I never understood why someone would go to a review of an album from a band they don't even like, but it still happens. Whatever though.
    Macabre_Turtle
    Karmekarten wrote: Gregray88 wrote: Not a fan of the band, but I like that they named a song after a quote from The Office Yeah same here.. too mainstream.. not original.. the guitar work Sucked big time on their other albums( its just fast palm muting the low C..)but i'll give this album a shot.. assisstant to the regional manager... good idea haha
    They play in drop d...
    aar24
    Dude the lead guitar sounds awesome, a lot more actual leads instead of octaves. The production quality is ridiculous too, but it's probably setting the standard too high for Jeremy live.
    xxrobbiechaosxx
    You're so right about the lack of growls. I told 2 of my friends about it, and they said "Dude, there's more." There really wasn't. More lows!
    ConnorOnFire
    jetfuel495 wrote: Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...Came from the book, in case you're wondering.
    According to the band, it didn't.
    almosthero17
    They have changed so much since "hey john, whats your name again" but this album much better than plagues
    zeroordie6868
    Jeremy's vocals are so amazing now. Mike's lows are beginning to weaken but he still is so ****ing heavy!
    Amuro Jay
    I could never get into this band. Everything that the reviewer states as being their signature touches I've always found as boring and generic. For a time I honestly thought that this was band that only got by due to the whole Christian factor. But, seeing as how this is "their heaviest album yet" and that they've apparently matured so much, I'll give them another shot.
    Shredder Guitar
    Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...
    you don't need a badass name to make badass music. STFU or GTFO.
    Amuro Jay
    Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...
    Came from the book, in case you're wondering.
    Zach Dunn
    i heard this a few days ago (been raping it on my ipod for a week) its great...i love the clean vocals too...fecking epic
    got_trivium?
    ConnorOnFire wrote: jetfuel495 wrote: Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...Came from the book, in case you're wondering. According to the band, it didn't.
    theres an interview on headbangers blog where they say its from the book. care to try again? This album absolutely amazing. Ben Has A Kid has the filthiest breakdown I've heard in a long time.
    Fabrizet
    This cd is wicked, I was blown away when I heard some of these songs.
    RoxyDub
    Why are you idiots arguing about the name? it's the music thats important surely... This album is heavy as ****. And excellent.
    hammerhead_500
    i had'nt heard of this band before but the moment i listened to this album i was hooked i get a slight as i lay dying feel from it
    ratracekid111
    got_trivium? wrote: ConnorOnFire wrote: jetfuel495 wrote: Brattarocks wrote: "The Devil Wears Prada" ...wow what a hardcore name...Came from the book, in case you're wondering. According to the band, it didn't. theres an interview on headbangers blog where they say its from the book. care to try again? This album absolutely amazing. Ben Has A Kid has the filthiest breakdown I've heard in a long time.
    I heard they named it that because they thought it related with the way the devil( the real one) has the power to deceive us. That aside, this is a fine record, much heavier than the previous two. They did much better with drop B than i thought they would
    ongbakkneedrop
    amazing album, drum work is **** solid. way better then plagues. and who care where the name came from. there music says it all there and amazing band