You can pretty much say that Ohio's metalcore darlings The Devil Wears Prada have finally grown up on their latest CD Dead Throne. Though the band scored big with fans & critics alike with both With Roots Above and Branches Below and Zombie EP, their two most recent releases, here on Dead Throne the band have successfully merged brutal hardcore & metal with some catchy melodies for a formula that is well tread these days but one that the band do quite well.
The dual vocal attack from Mike Hranica & Jeremy DePoyster are one of the main reasons that The Devil Wears Prada have been so popular with metalcore lovers. Here on Dead Throne, these two toss in a wide assortment of screams, growls, shouts, grunts, bellows, and clean passages, which fit right in with the boatload of sledgehammer guitars, bubbling keyboards, and frantic drum work. If you are not a fan of the harsh vocal attack, some of these songs might be a tad grating, as Hranica is pretty unrelenting throughout, but the tunes where DePoyster drops in his clean vocals adds a nice contrast and plops some much needed melody into these otherwise brutal numbers. "My Question", "Untidaled", "Mammoth", and "Forever Decay" balance both the crushing brutality with the catchy melodic moments quite nicely, and it's hard not to like the massive riffs from Chris Rubey, DePoyster, and Hranica. The keyboards of James Baney are also nicely done, and add an interesting element to these tracks, especially on the symphonic & atmospheric instrumental "Kansas".
Haunting, challenging, and brutal all at the same time, Dead Throne is proof that there are metalcore acts out there who have more to offer than the typical screamo/breakdown formula we've seen way too much in recent years. Give the band credit for upping the ante on the some of the guitar & drum work here towards a more technical edge, and I really like the keyboard work. Some of the extreme vocals from Hranica are a bit one dimensional however and can get annoying after a while, but overall this is a solid CD that should see The Devil Wears Prada further cementing their reputation as one of the better bands on the metalcore scene.
1. Dead Throne
6. My Questions
8. Born To Lose
9. Forever Decay