Review Summary: Don't let the zombie concept fool you, The Devil Wears Prada's latest release is faster, heavier and more fun then anything the band has put out before, and let's hope they stay this way.
Let’s face it, zombies have gone mainstream. Whether it’s movies or comics, action figures or stories, zombie’s are everywhere. We have George A. Romero to thank for that, he changed the world of horror forever. It’s about time that a band sat down to find a way to incorporate stories of the flesh eating dead into the music industry. Not too shocking to hear, The Devil Wears Prada have found a way to creatively insert zombies into their discography with the release of "The Zombie EP", which is a benchmark for the bands career. With 3 full-length albums under their belt already, it seems that the five songs on the EP are some of the best songs the band have ever created. Musically and instrumentally, The Devil Wears Prada continues to get stronger with each release, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Ever since the band’s first release,"Dear Love, A Beautiful Discord", every album from there have progressively become faster and heavier. The Devil Wears Prada have evolved into more of a metal group with "The Zombie EP", though they still incorporate the breakdowns and synth elements within their music. There is not one thing to be ignored on this EP, everything from the guitar to the drums, even the synth play a huge part in the overall sound of the EP. The Devil Wears Prada have always used synth as a cool little addition to their music, but it seems to be used a little more carefully on the EP than before. James Baney, the synth player, incorporates movie like sounds within most of the tracks and creative piano parts scattered around as well. The synth is first noticed when ‘Escape’ begins, opening the EP with the sound of a storm and a film quality score to back it up.
Jumping right into things is vocalist Mike Hranica, who remains one of the strongest screaming vocalists in the genre. He improves greatly with every album and his range allows for some assortment of vocal deliveries throughout the EP. ‘Escape’ allows the listener to get into the groove of the new Prada sound which is heavier and faster than ever before. The guitars are fast and the drums are right there with it every single time. The high pitched voice of Jeremy DePoyster surprisingly fits in well with the music, and the band knows exactly where to put him for exactly how long. He never takes over the song, but stands out every single time we hear his voice. As a mainly breakdown based group, ‘Escape’ features four breakdowns within the four and a half minute run time, but instead of the breakdowns being average and forgettable, their hard hitting and actually really help out the song.
One of the breakdowns is led by the sound of a shotgun being reloaded, but instead of hearing the bang of the gun, we hear the collision of the drums and bass jumping into the breakdown. Of course, what would be a zombie album without the sound of a chainsaw, and that’s exactly how ‘Anatomy’ begins. The synth in the song is placed perfectly and makes for a great addition, especially in the opening moments. Though the EP is only five songs long, the band manages to make each song stand out on it’s own. ‘Outnumbered’ was the perfect song for the band to release before the EP dropped. It opens with a radio announcement about the zombies, which leads right into the song. The two strongest tracks on the EP are ‘Revive’ and ‘Survivor’, which are the two closing songs.
‘Revive’ is complete madness from beginning to end while ‘Survivor’ finds itself a little more collected thought out. Most of the song tells the story of one man living against an entire world of the dead. He is a survivor, and this song is basically his story. Most of the song is a little slower and sorted, the end of the song being one giant breakdown which jumps around in speed. It is the best breakdown of the EP and is the perfect way to end it as well. The EP starts fast and ends fast, with so much in between it’s hard to not listen to it again.
The Devil Wears Prada have surprised so many people with "The Zombie EP", whether you were already a fan of the band or not. Don’t be turned off by the fact that this is an EP all about zombies, for this album hits just as hard as a zombie apocalypse would. The Devil Wears Prada have shown everyone that they have the ability to stand out in such an overrun genre, and if they keep on this path they just might find themselves playing bigger shows and forming a larger fan base. Zombies just might be the thing TDWP needs to launch themselves farther into the genre, and lets hope they don’t stop here.