The Devil Wears Prada

Transit Blues

Written by: MAK on 20/01/2017 12:59:08

I have a very interesting question, when did The Devil Wears Prada start listening to melodic hardcore? Quite dominantly the Ohio men are known for their brand of metalcore which is heavily blended with electronica. But on the band’s sixth studio album, "Transit Blues", we see the now four-piece have added a new twist to their music, not just launching a ferocious attack on your ears with breakdowns and synth melodies.

"Transit Blues" is the first release without longtime drummer Daniel Williams, who has featured on every album and EP until now. The Devil Wears Prada brought in session drummer Guiseppe Capolpo to fill in for this album and touring. Style wise the two drummers sound very similar, indistinguishable double pedal and drum roll fills compliment the sound enough to not notice the member change a great deal.

Even from the start of “Transit Blues” there is a slight difference in sound in what we expect from TDWP. “Praise Poison” drops the electronica and melodic nature and drives straight for the erratic metalcore vibes like it’s a forgotten Underoath song. Vocalist Mike Hranica’s forceful throat tearing shouts return to dominate a song that is flooded with crushing riffs and hard-hitting rhythms. “Daughter” is closer to what we are used to from the quartet; the synth melodies make a more prominent appearance as well as the clean singing segments that counter out the brutality.

It’s when I listen to “Flyover States” that my attention is truly grabbed. It starts off with a sombre tone, acoustic rhythms, and ambient guitar sounds before Hranica throws in some echoing shouts. Some distorted grooves hint that the song could get heavy, but we are met with a spoken word vocals segment reminiscent to Being As An Ocean. “Home For Grave Pt. II” follows a similar style, the melodic hardcore influence is strong, but TDWP add an epic atmosphere to it with keyboard ambience. Hranica’s spoken word shouts that shift to throaty screams just make him sound like a broken man.

Even during a heavier song such as “The Condition” the melodic approach seeps in. The high tempo and intensely energetic sides to TDWP seem non-existent and it pushes for the epic and atmospheric instead of wanting to start pits. “To The Key Of Evergreen” takes note by starting off brutally with machine gun-like drum patterns, harsh screams and deep grooves. It has a more “metal” feel to it for the first minute with the Killswitch Engage style riffage. Yet the big epic atmosphere kicks back in before an ambient bridge with calming choir-like hums and intricate drum patterns completely changes the tone. The synths help close out the song, but they aren’t hooking like on previous albums, the tones are somewhat beautiful and uplifting.

There are elements on “Transit Blues” such as the synth melodies and clean singing vocals that are a reminder to the band I discovered when hearing “Reptar, King of the Ozone”. But, that kind of song doesn’t appear on this album and neither does any song replicate the catchy appeal of popular hit “Dez Moines”. “Transit Blues” is the darkest and most emotional album I’ve heard from The Devil Wears Prada, it feels like the “we’ve grown up” album, taking a more sophisticated approach to songwriting. It works in a way to keep things fresh and with the times, melodic hardcore is the popular genre at the moment and writing songs that with a similar sound could very well hook in a new fan base.


Download: To The Key Of Evergreen, Daughter, Flyover States
For The Fans Of: Underoath, Architects, Oh Sleeper

Release date 07.10.2016
Rise Records

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