Review Summary: Former scenecore leaders unlock their potential.
If you made me listen to Transit Blues
without knowing the band behind it there is no way I would’ve guessed The Devil Wears Prada. Hell, even if I had three guesses I might have not got close. Transit Blues
is a massive departure for the former leaders of the scene oriented metalcore brigade. You can tell that right off the bat with the heavy and hard hitting groove of “Praise Poison” and the more gritty cleans of the new lead guitarist and backing vocalist Kyle Sipress. For the most part the former breakdown driven sound and poppy clean choruses have been dropped in favor of experimenting with their traditional formula. The sound for the most part is more reminiscent of a more focused post-hardcore sound influenced by bands like La Dispute. Biggest album highlight “Home For Grave Pt. II” sounds like a La Dispute song complete with near spoken word vocals with a nice twist on it, in fact it is better than that bands latest disappointing effort Rooms of the House
Vocalist Mike Hranica is really the star of the show on this album, using a wide range of vocals mixing a mid ranged scream as well as a new more spoken word influenced approach. Hranica previously has had a massive shift in vocal style after a rumored injury to his vocal cords going from a more visceral high and low screams to his now more strained range. His vocals didn’t really find a true home in the more breakdown driven approach The Devil Wears Prada used to take. Hranica here has never sounded more comfortable and uses his vocals to fit the more experimental sound well, particularly the tortured and dripping in passion spoken word portions of “Flyover States” and “Home For Grave Pt. II”. Transit Blues
also delivers in providing an interesting atmosphere and ambiance as well as more interesting melodies. The production is a bit more raw than previous efforts and not polished enough which gives the music enough room to breath.The clean break and interesting ambience in behemoth “To The Key Of Evergreen” builds to a beautiful crescendo and is once again reminding me of post-hardcore like Underoath, truly something nobody ever expected from The Devil Wears Prada.
I have been listening to The Devil Wears Prada for a while now ever since their first album but I never expected them to be much more than a fun breakdown laden metalcore band. However, Transit Blues
is a genuinely impressive release that has the potential to bring in some listeners this band never had before. It is an example of how a band once viewed as immature can evolve into something that is legitimately interesting and engaging. If The Devil Wears Prada keeps moving forward in this direction I have no doubt they will create something even better than this. It is extremely refreshing to see a band come from a fad mainly and logically evolve throughout their career, culminating in a special album.