The Devil Wears Prada
ZII


4.5
superb

Review

by anarchistfish USER (46 Reviews)
May 21st, 2021 | 432 replies


Release Date: 05/21/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Undead Strikes Back

I have to admire TDWP's chameleonic approach to their music and the ensuing debates it creates, but sometimes I do wish they could just make up their mind. Still a most notorious archetype of the scene, their scattergun first two albums weren't to my taste. With Roots Above... had some fun tracks, but Zombie EP was a revelation, and statement of the songwriting these musicians were capable of. As much as I appreciate the post-hardcore, Thursday-esque vibe of Transit Blues and the tastefully done hard rock sound of The Act, even Dead Throne and 8:18's best cuts never quite capture Zombie's stormy groove, and it is surprising it has taken this long for the boys to stop dicking around and set the drive to 11 like they can so clearly do.

ZII is not the same as Zombie 1. Mike's screams are different, the guitars sound slightly different; I want to say they sound less deliberate and more frantic than the first’s (but not necessarily to its detriment). The bass is a bit of a disappointment, especially compared to last week’s balls-to-the-wall live session in promotion of the EP, and samples are near-absent. Other than that, this is TDWP at their delightful heaviest. Four hurricane anthems (plus “Termination”) that must sit neatly near their top of their ever-growing catalogue of accessible spook-core bangers. Heavier doesn’t mean better of course, but when you compare the song structure, riffs, atmospheres, melodies, even the breakdowns here to their earliest work it’s hard to believe it’s the same band.

In this reviewer’s humble opinion those riffs are the standout of the EP and quite possibly exceed Zombie’s. Much credit has to be given to the other instruments too; the vocals are great, the drums are crisp and punchy, and Zombie’s atmospheric interludes return in a style (albeit sample-less) with synths that also add much to the album’s choruses. Much like its namesake, the album has a concise flow to it, unlike Dead Throne and 8:18 that at times felt sluggish and peppered with filler. Every song here except “Termination” slaps so picking favourites is tricky. "Nightfall" and "Nora" are great and “Contagion” is an appropriate closer, but the crown might have to go to “Forlorn” which is nearly as catchy as it is dickswinging-ly, headbanging-ly, parents-out-for-the-weekend heavy.

When TDWP make ZIII and put the bass higher in the mix I might eventually be satisfied, but TDWP’s next tour is sure to be a treat.



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user ratings (257)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
anarchistfish
May 21st 2021


28989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

came out of 5 year hiatus to give this EP a home but it's kinda rushed so apologies if this reads like shit. I think I got my point across



video for Forlorn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6cWSVBBAIg

Digging: Hidden Orchestra - Archipelago

Feather
May 21st 2021


7069 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for speedily getting this up so it has a proper place to be discussed. Especially after using Termination as the single, this ep was a huge surprise and I think easily matches the quality of Z1. This is likely the best thing they have done since Z1 which is incredible after the progressive slip in quality since Z1.

anarchistfish
May 21st 2021


28989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just didn't want the first review to be a party pooper

ExhaleTheLight
May 21st 2021


1100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

At this point they should just do a full length Z album

Feather
May 21st 2021


7069 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Welcome back from the 5 year reviewing hiatus! You did it for a good cause.

anarchistfish
May 21st 2021


28989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks though I did spend half of the review criticising stuff lol

anarchistfish
May 21st 2021


28989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"At this point they should just do a full length Z album"



Yeah we thought that was what dead throne was gonna be

JayEnder
May 21st 2021


10395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're the man for tackling this. Nicely done review!



EP is awesome, the songs here are the heaviest they've done in a long time. However, my biggest criticism is this really doesn't sound like a direct sequel to the first Zombie. The "theme" just isn't there, minus the occasional samples and obvious brutality. This EP more or less sounds like incredibly solid cuts from The Act in the same vein as The Thread.



ZI had a key word, atmosphere. Chainsaws, shotguns, zombies groaning, a rainy thunderstorm, the survivor shooting and killing a zombie, followed by his frantic breathing... It had so much more of a cinematic feel to it.

Digging: Alexis Marshall - House of Lull. House of When

vult
May 21st 2021


456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ wow I couldn't have said it better myself JayEnder.

JayEnder
May 21st 2021


10395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:]



That being said, this still fucking slaps. Nightfall and Forlorn are two of my favorite songs by these guys.

anarchistfish
May 21st 2021


28989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I hear you, it's not a true return to that style and it doesn't have the samples of the first. To my ears there's still atmosphere though, and they've always had a melodic chorus up their sleeve. Honestly this is just the kind of music I wanted to hear them make for a long time, with the distortion high and everything loud and fast. despite my reservations with some parts of the mix I still think it's heavier than anything on the act, which I actually really like



I don't know why they couldn't ever replicate the guitar sound from zombie 1, whether it was artistic choice or whatever. 8:18 and dead throne especially sounded sort of muffled in comparison. even zombie 2 probably doesn't reach it when it comes to that guitar tone, and the bass is better too. part of me has always wondered whether zombie 1 was partly a fluke

anarchistfish
May 21st 2021


28989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the problem with zombie 1 is outnumbered is so clearly the best song tbh



maybe I've just listened to it too many times but if i had to pick a few songs from either EP to hear live then I'd pick the 4 off here and outnumbered before the rest. survive still bangs though to be fair

Veks
May 21st 2021


1644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy moly just got done with the first listen and I'm very impressed. LOVE how fucking heavy this is and am so happy this is what they decided to do after The Act.



Pos'd!









supremejelly
May 21st 2021


1217 Comments


I'd like to see if a well-paced album could come from splicing together this and ZI. hmm

William21
May 21st 2021


676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Forlorn is definitely in the running for one of their best songs ever.



And for those wishing ZI's atmosphere/sound could've been more replicated... I think that was at least partially thanks to Joey Sturgis, and that was the last album/EP they ever did with him... so I wasn't expecting a ZI clone here.

onionbubs
May 21st 2021


13341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I'd like to see if a well-paced album could come from splicing together this and ZI. hmm"



tried that. hard to make something tonally consistent given how different the vocals sound now but the best i could do was:

1. nightfall

2. escape

3. anatomy

4. forlorn

5. termination

6. outnumbered

7. nora

8. revive

9. contagion

10. survivor

Digging: Dream On Dreamer - Loveless

MalicexMagnum
May 21st 2021


208 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Just awful.

JayEnder
May 21st 2021


10395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Okay we get it you don't like it. Fuck off.

MalicexMagnum
May 21st 2021


208 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Jay you seem to get REALLY upset on here. I'd suggest finding a hobby or some IRL friends to hopefully get you out of your funk

nash1311
May 21st 2021


2669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Says the guy who spends so much time trolling. that or you're completely deaf



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