The Devil Wears Prada were a band that had by and large passed me by until the release of their amazing “Zombie” E.P. in 2010, which they followed up with the stunning “Dead Throne” in 2011, an album that was one of my favourites from that particular year and showed a real maturity to their writing. Two years on from the release of that album, we have a new album, “8:18” and although ‘I’m unsure of the significance of the album title, I can confirm the album itself is another step up for the band.
Opener ‘Gloom’ lives up to its title, with its dark riffs, and tales of shoving stakes through hearts, it literally rips its way out of your speakers and goes for the throat straight away, make no mistake about it, this album is serious and from the get go, the proof is in the pudding. ‘Rumours’ takes a similar approach but shows the first sign of the more melodic vocals the band has become known for, which is something that runs through the rest of the album.
‘War’ starts off a little more calm than the other tracks, with a more melodic vocal refrain asking the question ‘Will I ever forgive myself?’ I think for my money, this is currently my favourite track on the album, because I love the way it unfolds, explodes, then continues building whilst adding the guitars and aggressive vocals over the top of the track. I expect it to become an instant live favourite.
‘Care More’ is another stand out track as well, one that starts out with a sharp riff over processed beats, that builds and builds and as you expect it to come crushing through the speakers, it slows down and is clean vocals over a simple thumping beat. Bring in some lush melodies in the background, but then like the calm before the storm it does explode in on itself, and the track goes to hell as the screams come in and underpin the clean singing, echoing their sentiments in the background over and over. This texture creates such a brilliant song that shows the band exploring themselves outside their usual comfort zone and playing around with their own conventions.
The albums first released track ‘Martyrs’ follows and is just a straight up bruising, fast hardcore song, decided to break necks and destroy vocal chords, a track that will surely see some casualties in the pit when it comes to the live arena. It also signals a turning point in the album, as everything that follows is just full on, full steam ahead, straight up heaviness, showing that The Devil Wears Prada have really upped the metal content in their sound over the years.
“8:18” is a great album from a band that is continuing to learn and grow, and even though it falls short of living up to “Dead Throne”, its only by a slight margin. The Devil Wears Prada, stand alongside bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive and A Day To Remember, in the sense that they are bringing some of the integrity, passion and forward thinking back to hardcore music as well as showing the world what they are capable of. With the rate they are releasing albums of this quality, the future is very bright for not only them but the scene as a whole.