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Album Review: The Devil Wears Prada - Dead Throne

The moment a band begins to hype up a forthcoming album, they start to run a very large risk. So you could describe The Devil Wears Prada as a ballsy bunch when they decided to deliver the news that ‘Dead Throne’ was their heaviest, most intelligent album to date. A huge evolution from the ‘dumb, plain and simple metalcore’ they used to treat your ears to... Now it’s rude to call someone a liar without substantial evidence, but rest assured – the words plain and simple certainly spring to mind within the 40 minutes that ‘Dead Throne’ mildly assaults you. It’s the musical equivalent of watching a film after you’ve read the book. You know all the twists and turns, and annoyingly they’ve failed to include many of the great, subtle scenes that made the novel so memorable.

TDWP have always been the quintessentially cliché metalcore outfit. Developing a heavy handed approach to the genre, placing the palm muted breakdown at the center of each track while the rest seems to chug on by with little acknowledgement to the fact that keeping every track at the same tempo might well be dull. Mike Hranica promised an evolution, and there is an essence of truth in this. You will find a clever riff or two within the confines of this release, and Hranica himself has come a long way to give a more diverse vocal with lows that no longer feel hollow and a scream which is a lot more bearable.

From the opening track ‘Dead Throne’, it’s clear that this album is crushingly heavy, its guitar tones and production are unfaltering with eye-watering percussion. However the moment Hranica utters the word “Go” before ‘Untidaled’ delivers the first open palm – no riff in sight - breakdown, the word cliché seems to engulf the next 11 tracks. Even a guest spot from As I Lay Dying’s Tim Lambesis on ‘Constance’ only leaves you wondering why they didn’t just borrow Nick Hipa as well to add some diversity to the growingly musty guitar licks.

If you wade far enough into this album you will find some highlights. ‘My Questions’ holds some nifty riffs and a genuinely good breakdown, while ‘Chicago’ begins to quench a developing thirst for what Hranica initially described. The introduction of clean guitars in ‘Kansas’ continues to deliver with a strikingly melodic sound, before once again being taken over once more by the endless chug which seems to consume this album, making a promising highlight rejoin the ranks in the rest of the pack.

It seems that TDWP have evolved within their own distinction, yet are left seemingly years behind the rest of the genre. August Burns Red have demonstrated how the use of wider influences can push a sound beyond its roots, while TDWP have proved once again how metalcore can so easily become forgettably stale. This album leaves you with the feeling that TDWP are heavy for the sake of it, producing a brutal blitz with little substance other than to be the loudest and most aggressive they can be. Drawing old influences from a formula that is well past it’s best.


Connor O’Brien

'Dead Throne' is out September 13th through Ferret Music.

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