The Devil Wears Prada – With Roots Above and Branches Below

with-roots-above-and-branches-belowArtist: The Devil Wears Prada
Album: With Roots Above and Branches Below
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Ferret

The one question I ask myself time and time again is why do I subject myself to the mind-numbing screaming and tumultuous breakdowns of today’s hardcore scene? The answer is directly related this band. The Devil Wears Prada has come through with a solid 11 track album with their third major label debut titled With Roots Above and Branches Below. They have been around the music avenue for a bit now and established quite the following. This record showcases the same intensity what Devil Wears fans have come to expect as they left us with gems like the previous album, Plagues.

The element that I enjoy about With Roots Above as apposed to Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord and Plagues is that this album has a distinct flow to it. Right off the bat with “Sassafras” TDWP explodes into fashion within 12 seconds of the disc for the first of many heart-pounding breakdowns. Not skipping a beat it leads straight into “I Hate Buffering” followed by “Assistant To The Regional Manager” that provide very catchy choruses and hooks bound to keep you figuratively strapped in tight. One of my favorite songs is “Gimme Half”. It starts off with full band and piano spotlighted with tastes of a powerful violin ensemble to accent the deeper overtone of the song.

Surprisingly enough, one of my favorite tracks on the cd is “Louder Than Thunder” which reminds me of “Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape” by Underoath. It’s ironic that TDWP put this slow track in the same exact place on their cd as Underoath did with their slow track on They’re Only Chasing Safety. It fits in very well. The song portrays a more melodic, calming and versatile side of these guys, which is refreshing.

Every track is fine tuned and produced remarkably well to spotlight each band member’s talents. All the instruments are heard clearly and Mike Hranica improves the vocal aspect greatly. His screaming definitely seemed to improve over a short time, which is quite the feat. Jeremy DePoyster, contributing the clean vocals, is a key component as well throwing in multiple high notes to accompany Hranica’s growls.

I feel like their style is one not to be imitated by other groups. My concern is how far can they really take this style of constant breakdowns and vicious screaming? Well…we shall see in time of course. Their stylistic element and talent is truly apparent but fails to expand any deeper than Plagues. None-the-less TDWP is on track to move between 25,000 and 30,000 copies in the United States in its first week according to Blabbermouth. I have faith and feel that this Christian band will capture a new following of fans as well as old fans with their distinct sound.

I think the essence of the true band and their authenticity is captured better on stage rather just a casual listen on iTunes. If you are into to this breakdown-charged sextet then I highly recommend checking them out live. The Vans Warped Tour this summer will be traveling to a city near you with some amazing talent including these guys. Be prepared to throw down in the pit.

Score: 8.3/10

James Shotwell
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3 Responses to “The Devil Wears Prada – With Roots Above and Branches Below”

  1. jake says:

    this album is ballin…i fully endorse it

  2. RWEStaff says:

    WE’re totally excited about this album and how much success the band is having! We jsut opened up our TDWP online merch store this week: we mad a blog post about it here:


  3. (UTG) Grant says:

    yea, the cd had an incredible sales numbers of 31,000 for the 1st week…just amazing

    btw that black t-shirt on the site is pretty cool. kinda trippy.