Review Summary: A concept album about zombie devils wrecking havoc whilst wearing Prada…or something along those lines, anyway.
I must admit I’ve had bit of a rocky relationship with The Devil Wears Prada: I wasn’t too big a fan of their debut album, as I felt it was too raw and unrefined, but I found their sophomore effort Plagues
to be a good mix of creativity and heaviness. And just when I thought they got the ball rolling, they checked their thinking caps at the door and created the terribly generic and over-produced With Roots Above and Branches Below
last year. Now the band is back with a new concept EP, Zombie
, and I’m willing to give the band another second chance; will Zombie
be a return to a more creative style for the band, or will it continue the mindless, over-produced drivel that they just previously cranked out?
As a revving motorcycle opens up the first track of the EP, I am happy to hear that the “old” Devil Wears Prada is back once again: “Escape” races out of the gate with driving, enthusiastic riff, which is thankfully conveyed by a rawer production than the one found on With Roots Above and Branches Below
. The guitars chug menacingly and the drums power through an energetic riff before an unexpected breakdown ushers in singer Mike Hrancia’s terrific rumbling growl. It may be nothing too unique when it comes to the metalcore genre, but Zombie
’s opening track really packs a punch.
And after the opening track comes to a close, the remaining four tracks of Zombie
manage to keep the momentum going perfectly. “Anatomy” continues the chugs, breakdowns and speed of “Escape”, while “Outnumbered” features the EP’s first real catchy chorus and has a more breathable structure. “Revive” might be the best song of the bunch, as it features some melodic vocals and atmospheric keyboards in the midst of pummeling breakdowns, while the closer “Survivor” seamlessly meshes every previous song’s elements together to leave the EP on a satisfying note. Zombie
showcases the band incorporating a new sense of speed and style, and they’ve never been better as they portray an immense power and tenacity through a barrage of heavy riffs, tasteful keyboards and great vocals.
As for the theme of the EP (that of which is nothing new but is still a classic tale), Zombie
tells the story of an undead apocalypse, and I have to say that the band captures the mood and setting proficiently with the numerous samples tucked into the songs. Even more importantly, however, the EP’s music really captures the chaotic theme, as the band’s re-branded grit perfectly powers the dark, ominous concept and it really captures a jarring sense of urgency. The lyrics touch on the themes of alarm and anxiety before the last track settles on the survivor’s intense hopelessness, leaving us with a rather bittersweet and chilling feel to end it all.
Quite frankly, I would have to consider Zombie
to be The Devil Wears Prada’s best effort to date. I have enjoyed the band in the past, but I have to say that this is the first time that I’ve had fun
listening to them: with their new-found energetic, driven and turbulent style, the dark themes and perilous story of Zombie
EP is just a complete blast to listen to. Hopefully the band can keep this up for their next album, and continue to make music that has elements of inspiration, creativity and brains…brraaaiinnnnssss…braaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnnnnsssssssss