CD Review: Devil Wears Prada, The - Dead Throne

devilwearsprada deadthrone
Artist: The Devil Wears Prada
Title: Dead Throne
Genre: Metalcore
Release Date: 9th September 2011
Label: Roadrunner Records


Album Review

Since their debut back in 2006, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA has come a long way in making their music much more mature and standing out from all the other Christian metalcore bands out there. Originally sounding like a bad combination between DEMON HUNTER, NORMA JEAN, and AS I LAY DYING with their first two albums (both barely released a year after the other), the band took more time to evolve their sound and release albums, stretching from 2-3 years instead of 1 in between. Their last effort, ‘With Roots Above And Branches Below’, was the first sure sign of a progression towards something better and then their recent EP, ‘Zombie’, just released last year, was a sure mark that something big was about to happen. Indeed, ‘Dead Throne’ will probably serve as the band’s heaviest and also most haunting album to date. It’s a far cry from the simplistically weak ‘Plagues’ that they created back in 2007.

One thing that listeners will notice is that the music has certainly gotten darker. The introduction of ‘Dead Throne’ is slow, foreboding, and builds up to the heavier sections between the growling and higher shrieks (new listeners will probably find the lower growls more tolerable compared to the shrieking as they are akin to DEMON HUNTER, one of the top Christian metalcore acts in the U.S.). The cleaner vocals are also present - not on every track- but ‘Vengeance’ is a prime example of the more melodic parts where the band switches between harsh vocal verses and clean choruses. One could say the vocalist has much improved his voice from sounding less whiny and weak to louder without sounding strained and still highly melodic. Even with this newfound melody, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA still hits hard and heavy with a track like ‘R.I.T’ which just writes and churns along with some subtle electronic sounds in the background, which adds to the whole creepy undertone of the album. The two highlights would have to be ‘Kansas’ and ‘Chicago’, which incorporate a much slower and melodic pace. ‘Kansas’ is more of an instrumental track that starts up slow but builds up over time with a great intensity. ‘Chicago’ includes more vocal work, but mostly it is the screaming and some spoken word bits, but with the quieter instrumentation it makes them sound a lot louder and commands more attention than usual.

Being a Christian metalcore band, usually there are some decent lyrical themes behind THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA’s music that aren’t directly telling people to follow Christ, but more follow the moralistic side of what the faith believes. In this case, it’s more about idolatry and worship of people who may - or may not be - worthy of such praise. All that goes up has got to fall, as they say. The title track basically says it all but there is a spread of the concept in each track. Aside from this, the band has added a lot more electronic influences - soft and subtle - such as on ‘Pretenders’. It’s only heard at a few moments, but the way it sounds like choirs will send shivers down one’s spine. Other experiments include looping vocals, but they just don’t sound as exciting as opposed to being like a poor remix attempt. Still, it is due to these little experiments that have made THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA evolve since their mediocre beginning, and older fans will be happy to see that. For new fans, ‘Dead Throne’ isn’t a bad place to start.


Tracklist

01. Dead Throne - 2:45
02. Untidaled - 2:55
03. Mammoth - 2:43
04. Vengeance - 3:01
05. R.I.T. - 2:49
06. My Questions - 3:12
07. Kansas - 3:36
08. Born To Lose - 3:04
09. Forever Decay - 3:24
10. Chicago - 2:44
11. Constance - 3:19
12. Pretenders - 3:28
13. Holdfast - 3:48


Line-up

James Baney - keyboards, synthesizers, piano, programming
Jeremy DePoyster - rhythm guitar, clean vocals
Mike Hranica - lead vocals
Chris Rubey - lead guitar
Andy Trick - bass guitar
Daniel Williams - drums


Website

http://tdwpband.com/


Cover Picture

devilwearsprada deadthrone


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10


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