Ohio’s The Devil Wears Prada have seen multiple facets of metalcore come and go whilst steadily maintaining their sound with subtle evolutions along the way.
Faced with the next chapter in their career, and the increasing shift towards commercial pop influences within the genre, the group have taken another route with their now seventh full-length, ‘The Act’.
Jumping into industrial layered hardcore, ‘Switchblade’ delivers churning riffs and throbbing distorted synths as frontman Mike Hranica barks against Jeremy DePoyster and Kyle Sipress whilst they tear up and down their fretboards. Delivering raw aggression in a flurry of distortion, the track kicks off the record in a violent fashion.
Following up, ‘Lines In Your Hands’ continues the momentum, as jagged guitars and hammered drums battle towards a soaring chorus before moving towards a harmonically nuanced coda that elevates the track naturally.
Showing a natural evolution, ‘Chemical’ sees the group move towards a more stadium ready sound, whilst still retaining a bite. Working with space, Hranica delivers a more restrained vocal style alongside swirling guitars. As it reaches its bridge, instead of relying on its strong chorus, it pushes towards an engulfing coda that belies the subtle beginnings of the track.
Following on from the rip roaring ‘The Thread’, a song dominated by a thunderous rhythm section, ‘Numb’ takes a pause from the churning guitars and pounding drums. Starting with stripped piano chords and DePoyser‘s slick singing, it doesn’t waste time before opening up with jagged guitars, and wide choruses. Utilising every second of its runtime, the track plays with dynamics to create a sonic journey.
Continuing their curiosity for exploration, ‘Isn’t It Strange’ slides between spoken word, skewed synths, and unhinged melodies to create a twisted dive into electro-pop territory with a downtempo edge. Treading a similar path, ‘Diamond Lost’ utilises wonky synths and sparse arrangements to craft a pulsing late addition highlight.
Sticking to their guns, ‘Spiderhead’ delivers a double kick led journey into bouncing riffs and raw vocals. Paired with a driving chorus and a engulfing breakdown, the track concludes the album devastatingly.
By refusing to jump on the current bandwagon yet managing to evolve their sound, The Devil Wears Prada have created a record that ushers in their new sound that was only touched upon with 2016’s ‘Transit Blues’. With ‘The Act’, the group have maintained their integrity alongside maturing into a style that fits them comfortably.