After the success of their Ferret-released With Roots Above and Branches Below, The Devil Wears Prada took a less serious thematic approach to their ambitious Zombie EP. Yes, the whole zombie fad is kind of getting old by now, but the guys in The Devil Wears Prada made some good strides to expanding their musical palates while delivering some of the strongest penned tracks they’ve ever recorded. But with their fourth full length Dead Throne, the band has taken the successful foray into heavier sounds and injected their usual blend of melodically-tinged metalcore. The result? Another doozy of an album that gives us everything we could hope for from the band – making it further proof that this band is worthy of their status in the top tier of metalcore acts.
Bridging the musical ideas of Zombie back to what they had going on With Roots Above would seemingly be a difficult task, but Dead Throne makes the connections with ease. The doom and gloom of the opening titular track is easily reminiscent of Zombie, finding a punch rhythmic assault and eerie melodies pushing this track into a theatrical synth-tinged section that adds layers to the deep sound this band has matured into since Dear Love. “Mammoth” beings a chorus worthy of its name, with soaring guitars and vocals mashed in-between verses of machine-gun drums and a track ending hammering breakdown, while “Born to Lose” delivers another dose of Zombie-like arrangements – boasting colossal guitars and breakneck drumming to back the soaring synths and melodies sewn throughout the track.
If you’re worried the band has lost their knack for anything Roots or prior, have no fear. While they are certainly pushing themselves musically, they haven’t forgot about their breakdown-laden, melody slinging past. “Forever Decay” features an epic breakdown where empty space is filled with synth rips that make it one of the more memorable of the whole album. “Holdfast” closes the record with a searing guitar melody that weaves itself into the rhythmic breaks this track boasts as well as the huge choruses where we hear calls of ‘We will not be forgotten!’. Though the band arguably sounds better on tracks like “Untidaled” or “Born to Lose”, where the sounds of Zombie are still very much present, they just don’t hit the point as well with “R.I.T.” with its breakdown that we’d wish would just last longer.
Per usual, we hear the band foray into less dense, more melodic adventures of metalcore, as “My Questions” asks for purpose in life over a huge sounding track that still boasts Mike Hranica’s chilling screams and plenty of punching guitars in its close. Yet, the bulk of the track is hit or miss, as the almost spacey melodies serve their purpose of exploration while the overall track seems rather anti-climactic in its delivery of setting up the breakdown finish. “Chicago” is a beast of a track, relying more on instrumental buildup near the end to create a wall of punishing noise. The front end of the track does a stellar job of building up tension through sparse melodies and putting Hranica right in the spotlight.
While Dead Throne may be the band’s strongest penned effort to date, it does have its slight hiccups. Still, anyone who loved either of the band’s two previous outputs will find plenty to love about Dead Throne. The mixture of even heavier timbres and a continued knack for theatricals makes Dead Throne one of the strongest records the genre has produced this year.
6. My Questions
8. Born to Lose
9. Forever Decay
The Devil Wears Prada is an American metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio, formed in 2005. They are currently signed to Warner Music Group. The Devil Wears Prada is a Christian band, consisting of members Mike Hranica (vocals), Chris Rubey (lead guitar), Jeremy DePoyster (rhythm guitar, vocals), Andy Trick (bass), Daniel Williams (drums) and James Baney (keyboards), all of whom are Christians. To date the band has released three full-length albums, one DVD, and five music videos.
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