REVIEW: The Devil Wears Prada – Dead Throne

The-Devil-Wears-Prada

Artist: The Devil Wears Prada
Album: Dead Throne
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Ferret

In all the time I’ve been listening to metal, I can probably count on my fingers the number of bands who get drastically better with each release the band puts out. The Devil Wears Prada is one of these bands. The Ohioans, at one point in their careers, were lumped into the overly stereotypical Rise records roster‚ and for good reason (they certainly fit with their label at that point). Since then they’ve moved to Ferret, started to really mature as musicians, and develop a sound with real substance–separating themselves from the mediocrity that is most of the metalcore scene of the last decade.

Starting with With Roots Above and Branches Below, and more recently the Zombie EP, The Devil Wears Prada have employed the ubiquitous drop-C tuning, which provided the band with (along with some writing tweaks) the heaviness and hard-hitting riffs the band so desperately needed to make their material more than awash. With the new found heaviness came a more balanced and rounded sound that has treated the band well.

From the very beginning of Dead Throne it’s apparent that The Devil Wears Prada have figured out the secret to taking the now thoroughly-beaten dead horse that is the “risecore” way and making into something actually interesting and attention-grabbing. All of the big, melodic, crisp vocal leads can still be found. The somewhat generic breakdown sections haven’t gone anywhere either. What is different, however, is the context and timing of their uses. Instead of building complete songs from the same pool of dull ideas their colleagues have for so long, they’re now just added as flavors and ideas in passing. Breakdowns are combined with tremolo-picked post-rock textures, catchy synth lines paired with furious riffage.

Every single department and facet of The Devil Wears Prada’s music has improved since their last full album (2009’s With Roots Above And Branches Below, in case you’re not counting), which is pretty remarkable considering it’s only been about 28 months. All things considered, there’s not much that could use a large improvement, but it would really be nice if the band backed off the hyper-produced sound. While you can still feel the energy and emotion in their tracks, at times it all feels just a bit too clinical. This is especially true with the record’s clean vocals; the vocals are always perfectly on point, which is hard to criticize, but that’s sometimes the problem: with the super aggressive sounding sections of the album paired with the hyper-produced vocals, they stick out like a sore thumb.

If at any point you have dismissed The Devils Wears Prada and forsaken them forevermore, now might be the time you should eat your words. Dead Throne is definitely one of the best metalcore albums released in 2011. As a bonus, the album’s artwork is totally bitchin’, uite possibly the best album artwork of the year. Regardless of your thoughts on The Devil Wears Prada prior to Dead Throne, give this album a listen. It’s a record with a unique sound and real character.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by: Jordan Munson (follow him on Twitter)

Try it yourself! Stream “Born To Lose” below:

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • <3

  • m/

  • Aaronk

    How long is the album? when you were listening?

  • Aaronk

    What were some of your favorites??

  • Can’t say about runtime, but I will say that my favorite tracks were probably “Kansas” and “Constance” with “Born To Lose” playing a somewhat close third.

  • You mean they employed drop B, right? They’ve never used drop C, at least since I’ve been listening. Think of Of Mice & Men for drop C.

  • Iamsteve

    that’s what i was going to say.

  • stoked, i can’t wait. m/

  • Hm, I’m not totally sure. If I’m wrong, I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • whos’ the guest vocalist on ‘Constance’?

  • Completely unsure. As far as I know, it’s still a total secret. Voice sounds really familiar to me, but I don’t care to make any guesses.

  • guest

    guest vocals are As I Lay Dying vocalist. Cant remember name atm haha

  • Yeah, it does sound remarkably like Tim Lambesis at the end of “Constance” so I wouldn’t be surprised it actually was him.

  • Byallmeanscasey

    They play in D but some songs they wrote in B.

  • guest vocalist is Tim Lambesis, AILD. all but two tracks are in drop B; Mammoth and Pretenders are in drop A.

  • Tommy Wahl

    Tim Lambesis from As I Lay Dying