You should always proceed with an air of caution when a band starts to sell their new release as the biggest or best in terms of certain qualities as, let’s be honest, many claims collapse entirely the moment said release is dropped into the world. Step up: The Devil Wears Prada, the band who sold their new album ‘Dead Throne’ to be the heaviest yet and, with regards to this at least, they aren’t lying.
There is a common sentiment shared with many regarding The Devil Wears Prada: they’ve come a long way since their 2006 debut. The band themselves have developed greatly since their departure from ‘Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord’ – a release that seems almost juvenile compared to the fully grown, established band that stands before us today.
Metal-wise, the terminology of being metaphorically ‘punched in the face’ by a track is thrown around rather commonly and, sadly, it’s relevant here. So, rather than dodge a reviewer’s cliché, it’s being grabbed wholeheartedly in regards to the album’s opening number and title track ‘Dead Throne’. Luring the listener in eerily, the track simply drops into metalcore glory, signalling the strong support of the statement of producing their heaviest music to date.
The album itself does follow in a similar suit and can fall into a slight routine. Offering tracks that mimic tempo and flaunt similar techniques throughout, a lot can slot in the category of ‘typical TDWP track’. The band cannot be described as static in terms of their progression, it’s more assumable that while they have developed their sound further, they’ve refused to relinquish certain quirks in their playing along the way.
Tracks like ‘My Questions’ and ‘Mammoth’ transpire to be some of the greater tracks on the album with a great balance between heavy screams and cleaner vocals. ‘Dead Throne’ seamlessly follows many of the typical ‘requirements’ of the metalcore genre; strong breakdowns, harsh riffs.
Mike Hranica has stated that this is not a concept record, unlike some of their previous works. Citing this has a lot to do with an anti-idolatry attitude, the record somewhat denounces the throne everyone figuratively places idols and entities on. It’s an interesting topic, one that does hold a great underlying optimism throughout. It’s when looking into the album through this perspective that it opens itself up in a far more fascinating way, but we’ll leave you to reach your own interpretations over that one.
The Devil Wears Prada are a band that have welcomed the idea of progression and have continued the darker experimentation of their ‘Zombie EP’ into a fuller release. Not to dwell too much on the image of being punched in the face, but ‘Dead Throne’ is truly a 40 minute assault on your being in one way or another. There are still certain habits lingering throughout this record that may seem a tad predictable in terms of musicality, but otherwise, The Devil Wears Prada are certainly moving onwards and upwards with this release.