The Devil Wears Prada are
an American Metalcore quartet from Dayton, Ohio. Their latest offering is a
6-track concept EP called ‘Space’
set to be released on August 21, 2015. The definition of metalcore has seen a
steady evolution since the old days when Killswitch
Engage were the standard. This does not mean that I have suggested a
benchmark of any kind, but it is nice to traverse the changes observed in the
sound. There is a certain sense of formula to the genre, and I do not think it
is necessarily bad to offer a bit of a departure from time to time, just to
keep things fresh.
some similarities with Bring Me The
Horizon, and I am sure they
share a certain kinship, so if any listeners identify some traits, it’s the
sound that’s evolving in the sub-genre and not a matter of ripping someone off.
For those who like a rich storyline and concept, this is a solid record.
track “Planet A” begins with an
audio sample of a communication procedure on a space ship like the ones you’ve
seen astronauts do with Mission Control. It runs for a minute before letting
the down-tuned guitars kick in with underlying floating keyboard patches. It’s
a dynamic opening track with equally-spaced breakdowns and buildups, and the
familiar chanting chorus. The second song “Alien”
picks up the pace impressively with huge sections and moshpit-inducing guitar-work.
“Moon God” could be a brilliant
track, but it gets beaten down by the metalcore vocal aesthetics, and the song
movements seem not only repetitive but also derivative from earlier tracks. “Interlude” is a very warm respite from
the chaos, spacing things out nicely.
“Supernova” is by far the
best song off the EP, with a very catchy hook and some riffs that are an
unintentional homage to Disturbed. It
sounds very mainstream, but for what it’s worth, it rings in the ear courtesy
the melodic chorus. The EP draws to a close with “Asteroid M”, summing up what has transpired throughout the EP. It
features some epic moments, which I found quite nice. The keys have done their
lot going for it, but suffers from certain issues that have been plaguing this
sub-genre for some time now; and I fear that these issues may push some new
listeners away. Mike Hranica’s linear
monotone screams are not something we are unfamiliar with in the genre, but they
get ear-achingly repetitive and boring. There is nothing new or fresh to the
approach; it’s the same rehash “emo-core” vocal style that does not have much
to offer and ends up being very one-dimensional. While Daniel Willaims is a solid drummer, his licks seem like they pander
to the pre-requisites of the sub-genre rather than innovating. Andy Tick’s bass work is worth
appreciating, being one of the main reasons why this band sounds as heavy as it
does. Jonathan Gering does a stellar
job with his not-too-over-the-top keyboard sounds, even though they sound
cliché at times. The musicianship on this EP is promising and I did enjoy many
parts of the songs, but when you stand back and recognize the fact that you
have Kyle Sipress on lead guitars, Jeremy DePoyster on rhythm guitars and
additional guitars being offered by singer Mike Hranica, you’re left wondering
why does the sound not stand up to the huge bill.
of the fact that The Devil Wears Prada has an amazing and loyal fan following,
and I hold each fan in high regard irrespective of their music choice. I also
acknowledge that these lads have spent a lot of time and put in the hard work
to make this EP. Having said that, it is important to state that there is a lot
of room for improvement. While the production may sound slick and near
perfection, and while the concept may boast of substance, if the execution does
not do justice, it feels like the bread is left half baked.