The Devil Wears Prada

Zombie EP

Written by: BL on 27/12/2010 11:42:17

Like metalcore? Like zombies? How about metalcore about zombies? It's probably not an entirely original idea to have a conceptual release about the zombie apocalypse, but it's still a fairly novel idea no less - provided that you actually like zombies, and you like metalcore. The Devil Wears Prada last appeared here at Rockfreaks when we reviewed their 2009 full length "With Roots Above and Branches Below", and it was certainly a decent record that showcased the band much improved and solidifying their status. But with the aptly titled "Zombie" though, the band tried to have a little fun by writing a short EP that is stylistically a bit of a departure from their usual sound and about, well, zombies.

"Zombie" may only be five songs, but boy does this EP really stick out when you hear it. It's a lot heavier than the kind of The Devil Wears Prada we're used to and is in fact probably the heaviest material the band has put out. From the get-go we have some seriously blistering guitars that really act more like weapons to combat zombies - chainsaw-esque gnarly riffing that actually borders on something by Slayer or Hatebreed (an acknowledged influence by the band themselves, just check out the start of "Anatomy"). Lead vocalist Mike Hranica still has that anxious sounding shrieked high scream and his guttural lows which aren't the best, but everything fits the grim picture the instrumentals paint here - his performance every little bit as intense. Clean vocalist/guitarists Jeremy DePoyster still sings that UnderOATH-esque (when they had Aaron still) high pitched pretty emo croon, but his vocal melodies do a good job of maintaining a balance between utilising catchy/poppy hooks and actually fitting with the darker surroundings.

The arrangements of the five songs on show do plenty to convince you that "Zombie" is a soundtrack to a zombie b-movie (it's actually a comic that you get with the EP). Opener "Escape" features some nice samples and a pretty nifty sounding breakdown complete with police sirens - the resulting effect is surprisingly good if not a little alarming (See what I did there?). Elsewhere "Revive" has some wonderful use of piano and strings to really accentuate the tense brooding atmosphere, and finally the way "Survivor" ends the entire EP and the story is quite a nice subtle touch. You're still essentially hearing the same The Devil Wears Prada if you are familiar with how they've sounded up til now, just with the extra beefiness in the recording, far more malevolent guitars and screams, and a pretty cool story concept to boot (and I don't generally even like zombies all that much).

The Devil Wears Prada have really outdone themselves with "Zombie" in my opinion - the band have taken a solid foundation sound and just gone to town experimenting and adding fun things to it (who knows if their next full length will actually sound like this though). It's not going to please everybody out there ofcourse, but if you've never seemed to have gotten into or liked the band before then this EP may surprise you. Definitely worth getting and giving a chance.

Download: Escape, Anatomy, Revive
For the fans of: We Came As Romans, UnderOATH, 'Greeley Estates - No Rain No Rainbow', Hatebreed
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 24.08.2010
Ferret Music

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