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The Devil Wears Prada preview

| February 10, 2010 | 0 Comments

House Of Blues, Chicago
Monday, February 15th, 2010


 
Though they have a reputation, perhaps well deserved, as dim-witted, vulgar miscreants, few fans get as passionate about their favorite bands as the metal crowd. Vocal style, drop tunings, beat count, and breakdown depth are all considered to determine if a band merits worth. Indie kids just don’t get too worked up about these things.

Genre boundaries are critical taste markers, but since the advent, death, and resurrection of “metalcore,” more and more artists are finding ways out of the constraints of genre straitjackets. Few have done so with such garishly effective aplomb as The Devil Wears Prada, which is why it elicits such polarizing opinions. Mixing hardcore-style vocal screeching with Cookie Monster growls, and clean, airy passages of spacy synths and strings typical of melodic death metal with chugging riff-a-thon breakdowns, TDWP epitomizes a breed of artist that liberally borrows from any style to fit its musical vision.  Toss in the band’s Christian orientation, and you have all the makings of a true heretic. Read some metal blogs or message boards, and you’ll see: some people absolutely hate this band.
 
Such venom is probably to be expected, given the band’s steady rise in popularity. It’s latest, With Roots Above And Branches Below (Ferret), debuted on the Billboard charts at 11, which is almost unfathomable for this type of music, especially a metalcore band of this stature. The album features TDWPA’s familiar slash-and-burn vocal shredding, plenty of whiplashing riffs, and ambient textures that give an epic otherworldliness to even the most brutal songs. And this batch of songs is the most brutal and intense of the band’s career. Expect plenty of bruises and bloody noses when the boys crank up the ethereal crusher “Dez Moines,” and rip through the harrowing “Sassafras.”
 
The Devil Wears Prada opens for Killswitch Engage, which is fitting, as Killswitch is considered one of the early pioneers in metalcore.

— Patrick Conlan

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