Review Summary: Patterns of a Horizon proves to be an interesting listen for any diehard TDWP fan who wants to explore this christian metalcore band's humble beginnings.
From humble beginnings to great success in the Christian metalcore scene, The Devil Wears Prada has become a benchmark to new bands trying to make it in this genre. Patterns of a Horizon is an interesting ep by TDWP that explores a wide variety of metalcore techniques that can be achieved by a 6 piece band that consists of:
Mike Hranica – screaming vocals
Jeremy DePoyster – rhythm guitar, clean vocals
James Baney – synthesizer, keyboards, piano
Andy Trick – bass guitar
Daniel Williams – drums, percussion
Chris Rubey – lead guitar
When listening to this album, one can understand that this band has come along way in the areas of musicianship, production value and creativity but don’t get me wrong, Patterns of a Horizon is reasonable album and one that any metalcore/grunge fans will want to replay over and over.
This album kicks off with "The Ascent", which is an instrumental (there are 3 on this ep). It is hard to comprehend the relevance that this instrumental has to the rest of the album seeing that it attains a rather tenuous vibe with sound effects of what I assume is the creaking of a household (it’s hard to tell). After this it kicks right into "Gauntlet Of Solitude", which is a short song but does start the album off well. The combination of the drums and guitars in the intro to this song has a fierce metal edge. There is a nice keyboard interlude about 1:30 in which gives the listener a calmer alternative. Mike’s vocals are different from his current style in which they are well controlled. On this album they are very rough but commendable. The song ends with a heavy breakdown.
"And The Sentence Trails Off" is the next song on this record and starts out nice with an upbeat riff which distinguishes a grunge effect. This song has a few parts with piano which compliment the effect of the guitars and vocals to create a sound which is similar to the styling’s of A Skylit Drive in their early days. We hear Jeremy sing for the first time in this song. His voice is soothing and well pitched in relation the guitars and synths that are played behind it. The basic structure for this song like the others goes in the line of an intro – breakdown – verse – bridge – interlude – breakdown which doesn’t throw off the replay value of this album but does question the creativity from this band (obviously they have improved with recent albums).
"Rosemary had an Accident" blasts the listener straight after with an enjoyable guitar riff and Mike relinquishing his vicious vocals. This intro is replayed soon after but it remains as the only real quick and heavy part of this song which is probably the lightest track on the album with good use of clean vocals, keyboard interludes and upbeat power chords. There is a prolonged breakdown to finish off the song which does carry on a bit. This is a very enjoyable song for any listener looking for a lighter alternative from hard metal.
"Redemption" is another instrumental which consists of keyboard melodies. It is short and sweet and can be something for listeners to enjoy, but on next is my favourite song on this album "Swords, Dragons and Diet Coke" which starts with a fast and well timed drum beat and backing keyboards which set a a good foundation to the power chords that are hammered out by the guitarists. Once again there is another breakdown straight after but it is swift and versatile. Keyboard strings and piano taps are used well on this track as a backing sound. Jeremy sings a fair bit on this track which any metalcore fan will enjoy because his voice gives this album a unique style. The breakdown to end this song is my favourite on the album because it uses a haunting piano effect over the top to create a darker tone to this song.
The song titles by this band never cease to amaze me and "Who Speaks Spanish" Colon Quesadilla" is one to laugh over but it is a versatile and creative song by TDWP. It is similar to the previous two songs but still gets me every time I listen to it. The guitar work on this song is predominant with power chords and picks but do give this song an upbeat effect. My favourite part of this song is from about 1:30 to 2:50 where the drums slow down with the guitars and come together as a perfect backbeat to the haunting synth melodies that played by James. The song builds up again faster and sharper than the start to this song but the vocal work by Mike at the end of this song is very poor and badly timed
"Modify the Pronounciation" (another weird title) is the last song on this album and has a neat stanza after the opening breakdown which consists of piano taps and fast vocal work by Mike which is unlike what we have heard on the rest of this album. This song uses double recorded screamed vocals in some parts to give it a heavy punch. The last 2 minutes of this song are great to listen to for any clean vocal fan because we hear Jeremy sing some very emotional lines repetitively, backed up by Mike’s screaming. The combination is flawless and gives a great outro to this song. There is another instrumental after called "Salvation" which isn’t too bad. It consists of just keyboard string melodies but has a nice relaxing touch for the listener to tune out to.
Overall Patterns of a Horizon is a decent ep by TDWP. Each member contributes well to create a pretty unique style which has evidently carried on to the music they are making today. This album isn’t too heavy although it does have some bone crushing parts which any metal fan will love but alternates consistently for a lighter sound. The breakdowns are solid but do get repetitive. Lyrically this album is very Christian orientated with references to God and Christ but words are very hard to make out through the vocal work of Mike. The drumming isn’t too flashy either but the production value plays a part in that. The guitars are very scratchy and grungy but don’t throw the listener off it’s unique style. The bass on this album can be hard to hear for some but from what can be heard, it sounds pretty basic and not too flashy.
This ep does show how far a band can come from humble beginnings because this record in terms of musicianship and production quality does not compare to the rest but Patterns on the Horizon overall is an enjoyable and easy ep to listen to based purely on the combination of each individual member's evident talent. Any metalcore fan who is into TDWP should give this ep a go, you won’t be disappointed.
P.S - Sorry about the poor quality of this review, I just decided to make it because no one else had done a review yet.