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The Devil Wears Prada - Dead Throne Album Cover

The Devil Wears Prada - Dead Throne

Reviewed by
9.0
The Devil Wears PradaDead Throne
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Record Label: Ferret
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Since the release of their 2009 breakthrough album, With Roots Above and Branches Below, The Devil Wears Prada have been on a non-stop touring schedule - selling out bigger and bigger venues, gaining thousands of new followers, and increasing the profile of the band – all while finding the time to slip an highly-ambitious concept EP. Many want to anoint them as the heirs to the metalcore throne, but instead of indulging in that adoration, the Dayton, Ohio, sextet focused on becoming a better band. Rather than taking the easy way to success by re-hashing ideas from their successful Roots, The Devil Wears Prada decided to push their songwriting and musicianship to the next level – a level occupied by the likes of Underoath and As I Lay Dying (to name a few). The band enlisted Adam Dutkiewicz (making this the first album they haven't worked with Joey Sturgis) to help push the band into the upper echelon. What resulted was Dead Throne, a thirteen track band-defining epic.

There is just something sinister about this release, and it's immediately heard with the eerie ambient march of the title track, which leads into the heavy artillery of drummer Daniel Williams and the pulverizing howl of vocalist Mike Hranica. The band wanted to lean more on the aggressive side of the metal spectrum, and the just-under 3 minute opening track does exactly that.

In fact, the majority of tracks on Dead Throne don't even reach the 3 and a half minute mark, showing the band's insistence to be aggressive. Sure, there are still breakdowns, but The Devil Wears Prada deploy them more strategically than on previous efforts. They show up unexpectedly, and are combined with various tempos throughout, whether it's some serious shredding (“My Questions”) or laced with James Baney's fantastic keyboard work (the frantic “R.I.T.”). Take “Untidaled” for example. After you've barely latched onto the chorus and guitar sweeps, guitarists Jeremy DePoyster and Chris Rubey empty their clips into a hardcore-styled beat down.

Vocally, Hranica has turned into a behemoth, as very few within the genre can match his tenacious high-pitch screams and guttural growls. The vicious “Vengeance” balances the heaviness of Hranica's screams with DePoyster's urgent cleans to create one of the album's best tracks, culminating with a colossal breakdown. And when Hranica bellows out “I ABHOR YOU!” on “Born To Lose,” you feel it resonate throughout your body. The best moment, however, belongs to “Constance,” as Hranica goes toe to toe with the seasoned bark of As I Lay Dying front man, Tim Lambesis, creating a furious final ninety seconds.

But Dead Throne doesn't just bash your head in. Check out the band's new sense of mood with the stunning ambient-metal of “Kansas,” which combines brutality with melody in ways that channel Thrice and Underoath. They go one step further with the powerful “Chicago.” Carried by Hranica's desperate yells and delicate instrumentation in the beginning, it slowly builds itself into a dizzying crescendo of spectral guitar riffs.

Not only did the band make huge strides with songwriting and musicianship, but Hranica penned his best lyrics yet. Throughout Dead Throne, Hranica focuses mainly on the idea of idolatry and our culture's existence to put false kings upon a pedestal. The record's content also explores questions, doubts, and love lost, but also discovers hope, trust, and faith. His words will be able to connect with any one, regardless of beliefs.

Few bands have improved their craft as much as The Devil Wears Prada has. A far cry from their “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over” phase, the Dayton, Ohio, sextet have created their own unique sound and a character-building album that'll rule the metalcore scene. There is a sense of urgency and maturity here that few in the genre will be able to replicate. So forget the throne, The Devil Wears Prada doesn't need it to prove that they've released the best metalcore album of the year.

9/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 166
06:01 PM on 08/26/11
#2
IdiotFlight
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Good review drew. I really like the album, definitely think it's their best work to date. I've always thought as TDWP as on of the better metalcore bands on the scene and hopefully this album separates them from the rest.
06:05 PM on 08/26/11
#3
cococrisp20
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good review, I'm not sure what the lyrics are on this album but previously their lyrics were borderline horrendous at most times, so that 9 may be a bit high but I agree with everything else.
06:06 PM on 08/26/11
#4
Drew Beringer
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good review, I'm not sure what the lyrics are on this album but previously their lyrics were borderline horrendous at most times, so that 9 may be a bit high but I agree with everything else.
did you read the review?
06:12 PM on 08/26/11
#5
cococrisp20
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did you read the review?
yeah, but just because you say they're good doesn't mean I'll think the same thing. I'll wait to read them myself which is why I said may be a bit high, not is.
06:15 PM on 08/26/11
#6
Drew Beringer
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yeah, but just because you say they're good doesn't mean I'll think the same thing. I'll wait to read them myself which is why I said may be a bit high, not is.
no, you edited your post to take away your question about the guest vocalist.
06:19 PM on 08/26/11
#7
cococrisp20
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no, you edited your post to take away your question about the guest vocalist.
ah I see, yeah, I know that's why I edited it...
06:21 PM on 08/26/11
#8
Sheluligans
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This is definitely better than most metalcore. This is probably the only metalcore release I'll listen to this year. The first listen was better than I expected. I wish there were some slow songs with some cleans. Kansas is damn good also.
06:22 PM on 08/26/11
#9
Jaimehere
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I don't think I can say that it's the best metalcore album of 2011, still can't make my mind if that belongs to them, August Burns Red or As Hell Retreats
06:24 PM on 08/26/11
IdiotFlight
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I don't think I can say that it's the best metalcore album of 2011, still can't make my mind if that belongs to them, August Burns Red or As Hell Retreats
Personally I put this above ABR, but I haven't heard As Hell Retreats' latest release.
06:24 PM on 08/26/11
the_mango
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Solid review, Drew. Will be purchasing come Sep. 13, but do you know if I can find Mike's best lyrics anywhere before then? Thanks!
06:28 PM on 08/26/11
Jaimehere
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Personally I put this above ABR, but I haven't heard As Hell Retreats' latest release.

I guess I can describe Dead Throne as purely a well-done metalcore album, Leveler as a metalcore album w/ a lot more Jazz/Ambient passages and Volition (As Hell Retreat's new one) as a mid paced metalcore album w/ some parts that sound like Hands/A Hope For Home
06:34 PM on 08/26/11
IdiotFlight
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I guess I can describe Dead Throne as purely a well-done metalcore album, Leveler as a metalcore album w/ a lot more Jazz/Ambient passages and Volition (As Hell Retreat's new one) as a mid paced metalcore album w/ some parts that sound like Hands/A Hope For Home
I'll have to give Volition a listen then.
07:06 PM on 08/26/11
low_rising
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nice review drew and a fast one at that, album is well unique in a good way, but god im in love with the lyrics (and that's just the ones i can decipher). Anyone got a link for the lyrics, or will i have to wait until i buy the album?
07:13 PM on 08/26/11
Drew Beringer
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nice review drew and a fast one at that, album is well unique in a good way, but god im in love with the lyrics (and that's just the ones i can decipher). Anyone got a link for the lyrics, or will i have to wait until i buy the album?
wasn't that fast, been working on it for a few days

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