The Devil Wears Prada is the musical embodiment of a generational shift. Built on a diverse array of heavy, dark, melodic and genre-defying music; hardened and sharpened by putting in road work together since the days when they had to skip class to tour: The Devil Wears Prada is at the forefront of a movement that bridges the gap between Rockstar Mayhem and the Vans Warped Tour.
The passionately inspired band’s brand new album for Roadrunner Records, cryptically titled 8:18, embodies an unflinching, uncompromising authenticity born from revelatory introspection and obsessive workmanship. The dichotomies are refreshing, invigorating and boundless. There’s an oppressive, suffocating darkness to their heavy music, counterbalanced by the hope within their collective faith.
The most brutal of crowd-moving breakdowns ignite with friction, bristling against soaring melodies, progressive yet catchy riffing and keyboard soaked atmospheric esotericism. To put it simply: The Devil Wears Prada have developed the chops, the cred and the audience of a true-blue thinking person’s heavy metal band, while simultaneously welcoming fist-pumping hellraisers and youthful moshers alike. 8:18 continues the war against humanity’s dark urges, pointing the finger inward and outward through a medium that is itself both bleak and grand.
The overriding theme on 8:18 is misery, exploring that mental and emotional state through its various guises, manifestations and interpretations. Tracks like "Gloom," "War," "Black & Blue" and "Home for Grave" spring forth from that foundation, exploiting concepts like mediocrity, existential angst and life's bigger questions under an atmosphere of musical dread, hostility and darkness.
Mike Hranica is blessed with a commanding roar, but infuses the proceedings with a literary sensibility, a commitment to self-evaluation and a painstaking modesty that levels the playing field between performer and listener beneath the surface. Principal songwriter and guitarist Rubey is an accomplished producer in his own right. Rubey brings all of that experience to the table with his band through an understanding of the group’s fans, the result of multiple hours spent pouring through social media, YouTube comments and online forums. It all coalesces into creative leaps that are intertwined with The Devil Wears Prada’s established identity.
Rhythm guitarist Jeremy DePoyster contributes the hook-laden underbelly to Prada’s brutal musical beast, handling the “clean” singing with a fine-tuned abandon to rival the pop stars dominating the charts. He grew up listening to Rob Zombie and Korn, but his iPod these days is packed with just about everything one can name. His singing vocals shine particularly on "Care More," a heavily electronics infused song with a dark mood.
Andy Trick has a Minor Threat-inspired tattoo that exhibits his early inclinations toward hardcore punk, an ethos and a mindset that still courses through the bass player’s veins even as he takes the stage playing guitar-driven metal music around the world. His bass playing anchors the theatrics and fluid, tasteful beats of Daniel Williams. Prada’s drummer carries the class and finesse of the indie crowd, while pummeling the drums with the power of metal's finest.
The overseeing hand of executive producer and Killswitch Engage axeman Adam Dutkiewicz (August Burns Red, Shadows Fall, Parkway Drive) and producer Matt Goldman (Underoath, The Chariot, As Cities Burn) resulted in a sonic time capsule representing not only this present moment for TDWP, but a crossroads for heavy music itself. Progressive strains of experimental trailblazers Converge, Botch and Underoath seep beneath The Devil Wears Prada’s unique reverse-engineering of modern metal.
8:18 convincingly detours into Nine Inch Nails-isms, then comes full circle with some killer throwbacks to TDWP's earliest work.With 8:18, The Devil Wears Prada cement their status as a band who have not only weathered the pressures of early, youthful popularity, but grown into masters of their craft.