Review Summary: If Dead Throne and Zombie EP met, and had a baby..
The Devil Wears Prada is the band that got me into the metal scene, so they are very dear to my heart. For many years they were my favorite band because of their combination of solid music and unique vocals. 8:18 is no different in that sense.
It seemed as if Dead Throne had some mixed opinions about it. Many people were psyched about the Zombie EP, much like I was, so they figured Dead Throne would be a great release. To my surprise, it was not what I expected and I was a little disappointed. I learned my lesson from that moment two years ago. To no one's surprise, The Devil Wears Prada has released an album with no groundbreaking elements, but still worth a listen.
The first thing I thought of when I heard TDWP's new music that it sounds like combination of Dead Throne and Zombie. Some may disagree, but I really think it's what the band was going for. The first single released I believe was "Martyrs". Instantly there was disputes over Mike Hranica's vocals, the front man of the band. Mike has an extremely unique, and disgusting sounding voice, but it is oddly amazing and fun to listen to. For the last two albums, Mike vocals have been a combination of deep, amazing low growls and high, voice cracking yells. To all the haters out there, I believe this is some of the better vocals that Mike has had only because they are real. When I say "real" I mean it in a few different ways. The first is literal, as his vocals sound the closest live as they ever have in any album of TDWP. The second is actually emotional. If you have never seen The Devil Wears Prada live, you do not know how emotional Mike gets when performing. I have seen them perform a few times now, and they put on a pretty great show. In this album, you can really hear the parts where Mike may get a little emotional from.
Ultimately, the vocals actually fit well with the music, which indeed has gotten darker since the last album. The music is filled with chugs and chugs and more chugs, but is not the same monotonous breakdowns that the band has seemed to have in their old albums. Right from the get go, the guys introduce one of their heaviest tracks of the album. "Gloom" is by far my favorite track from the album. The dark and ominous tones of the keyboard in the beginning gave me doubts at first, (I do not believe keyboards and synth belong in metal) but this track deserves to be on repeat mode. Unfortunately, none of the other tracks seem to compare to the first. Another track that grabs my attention is actually the softest of the bunch, which is "Care More". For some reason this song is also an addicting listen. There is not much "metal" in it, but it is one of the more emotional songs on the album. At one point in the song, Mike and Jeremy DePoyster (cleans and rhythm guitar) have a line where they both include vocals. As said before, you can really hear at that point the emotions in Mike's voice.
If you are a big fan of The Devil Wears Prada like I have been for many years now, you will very much enjoy this album. It may take a while to get use to, but it is a very nice listen. I may end up loving this album the more I listen to it much like almost every single album I listen to. In that case, the rating will go up in my book. If you are a new listener to the band, this may not be the best new album for you to listen to. Go listen to Zombie EP or Rescue and Restore by August Burns Red!