The Devil Wears Prada
Color Decay


5.0
classic

Review

by Matty USER (21 Reviews)
September 20th, 2022 | 20 replies


Release Date: 09/16/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I can't sleep 'cause the sky is falling

The ever-changing landscape of music trends often sees artists experimenting with various avenues to relay their lyrical messages or even the weight of emotions felt with instrumental composition. The Devil Wears Prada are a band who now have eight studio records and three E.P.’s under their almost twenty-year career and it’s safe to say that each release has a unique identity. Starting out as a typical scene-core band in the mid 2000’s and eventually climbing the ranks as an elite force in experimental heavy music, The Devil Wears Prada are nothing if not consistent in the quality of their output regardless of the stylistic shifts they employ. With their latest outing ‘Color Decay’, there is a heavier focus on infectious vocal melodies, production value and emotionally poetic lyricism rather than the brute force heaviness of some of their older work. The quality, if anything, seems heightened with more nuanced approaches to the songwriting as well as a terrific blend of intricacy and groove especially when discussing the drumwork of Giuseppe Capolupo. Every member of the group contributes greatly to the fullness of this record, and it was a true pleasure to experience it.

The opening track “Exhibition” jumps right out of the gate with some explosive pop punk drum patterns and industrial-tinged ambient synthwork lining the background of the verses. The chorus features a very catchy hook and jolting rhythm section, and the bridge of the song erupts into a very groovy breakdown reminiscent of some of the work on their 2013 album ‘8:18.’ Lyrically the track discusses the inevitability of life’s woes and the ‘quick-fixes’ our current society attempts to mask these struggles with. Mike Hranica exclaims during the bridge “They enforce that you don't matter/Man's horns dictate thereafter/But I'll fight, have a chance at this/Fight the chains, fight the engine's hiss” hoping to breakaway from the normality of these societal patterns. Throughout the record, one of the highlights is the vocal exchange between Mike’s harsh, tortured yells and screams and Jeremy DePoyster’s warm, smooth clean vocal delivery. Each track uses these balances differently and yet always effectively.

Following the conclusion of the opener, we are greeted with a burst of energy from quick double bass action and passionate synth melodies reminiscent of the main melody in Bring Me the Horizon’s “Drown.” The song itself features a much more anthemic approach to the songwriting with a heavy focus on building up the songs power into a final massive chorus at the end. The variations of how the choruses are articulated instrumentally proves the band’s intent on creating immense dynamics with one chorus being solely sung by Jeremy with nothing but a dense ambient synth in the background and another chorus that utilizes the full band to its maximum potency with bombastic vocal work, big thick guitars and bass and vast open drum patterns.

The black sheep of the record “Watchtower” employs thick chunky guitar riffs, intricate quick drumbeats and sub three-minute runtime. We also are treated to a massive breakdown payoff following an excellently expressed callout with Mike shouting “In spite of your warmth/I made it difficult/I chose the distance” which is followed by a deep bass drop and some lovely spaced out guitar chugs very much in the vein of their most recent output in ‘ZII.’ The subsequent track “Noise” is layered in metaphor lyrically and has a bit of a punk vibe to it instrumentally at times. It feels that much of the lyrical content throughout the record comes from a more personal, individualized experience rather than commentary on life itself or faith as previous records have explored. “Noise” contemplates missing out on the truer exciting aspects of life by being distracted with ‘noise’ or matters that detract from what matters. In a strange turn of events, the bridge features a very gloomy thick breakdown riff that has Jeremy’s eerie croon chanting over these dense rhythms.

As we get into the middle section, we are greeted with our first ballad and most likely The Devil Wears Prada’s most effective one to date other than maybe their hit single “Chemical” from their previous full-length. Jeremy’s vocal performance is stellar with nuanced emotion under his breathy deliver in the verses as well as the back-up vocals from Mason, Jonathan and Mike who each contribute layers of excellence. Lyrically, the track touches on loneliness and presumably addiction in attempts to cope with such emotions. Instrumentally, the track doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it constantly builds between the vocal layering, the instrumentals becoming more prominent and the inclusion of some occasion yells from Mike. “Sacrifice” follows which was dropped last year as the first single. Its focal points are like that of the song “Noise” where it has its aggressive moments but also blends a huge chorus and some breaks in the fury in favor of cleaner dynamic flashes.

At this point, it’s starting to become clear that lyrically this record is gloomy and introspective with a heavy emphasis on depression, anxiety and self-doubt. “Trapped” continues that with a deep look at emotional turmoil from a failed relationship or a relationship on the straits. Mike croons “We can’t keep draining an empty tank/Don’t say sorry, it’s not your mistake” accepting that things might be over but taking ownership over the wreckage. Instrumentally, the song builds from a subtle ballad into an emotionally charged chorus that winds in and out of these dynamics with a final extended chorus that builds upon its melodies. “Time” meanders in and out of it’s massive technical opening riff with a tom-drum heavy building verse that includes clean guitar licks and lovely ambient synth work. The chorus is one of the lesser ones on the record in my humble opinion but not because it’s poor but more so because it repeats so often and while the instrumental backing does change almost every time its introduced, it doesn’t feel as potent and more cookie cutter.

“Twenty-Five” is one of my favorite tracks on here with very introspective lyrics harkening to memories of lost love and detriment surrounded these circumstances. The opening melody is played in an odd time signature and Mike’s shouts slowly build in ferocity before climaxing later in the song in emotional excess with layered instrumentals and vocals. I really love the lines “by April, the snow was melting/And I thought you’d give another try/But it was past now/Gone for good now/No longer twenty-five.” I find it just paints a simple vignette that’s utterly relatable and tugs on the heartstrings. “Fire” follows which is my least favorite track featuring a very slow pace heavily utilizing electronics and mainly showcasing Jeremy’s voice. The melodies don’t expand too far from its opening moments and fails to reach the level of other songs that have a similar vibe like “Please Say No” from ‘The Act’ and “Care More” from ‘8:18.’

The final leg of the record we are introduced to the heavy hitter “Hallucinate” which promotes itself as one of the more aggressive tracks yet still uses dynamics between quieter verses, heavy industrial breaks and those punchy, hard-smacking moments. Its guitar work is simple yet effective with the reliance on triplet guitar chugs and heavy palm-muted strikes. The closing track “Cancer” is just as emotional as anything from the rest of the album but somehow one-ups it with heartbreaking lyrics weighing the option of someone having cancer with it being something else that’s even worse. Having experienced cancer in family members like many others, it’s a heart wrenching scenario to experience and imagining something worse is a new level of depressing. The instrumentals give and take with heavy emphasis on the potency of its chorus melody breaking into smooth, emotion laden verses. The short little acoustic outro is a nice sendoff however it is a bit unnecessary.

I do have a heavy bias to be overjoyed by this record considering The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite bands and their music over the years has meant a great deal to me whether it’s the instrumental inspiration if gives me in the music I write to the lyrical content that helps to get me through tough times. Each record feels like one of those assorted slices of cheesecake; they have their own flavors and identities and contribute to the overall experience of their entire discography. The conviction in which every aspect of the music is written always floors me and leaves me thoroughly happy. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly scratched the itch for me.

Highlights:
“Exhibition”
“Twenty-Five”
“Sacrifice”
“Broken”
“Watchtower”
“Noise”



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3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mkmusic1995
September 20th 2022


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Just a little positivity towards this record.

pizzamachine
September 20th 2022


19399 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review.

pizzamachine
September 20th 2022


19399 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Double post cuz I’m the cuddle host? Nvm 🤮

mkmusic1995
September 20th 2022


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thank you sir, means a lot considering your distaste for the record.

pizzamachine
September 20th 2022


19399 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album is more like a 2.5 objectively speaking. ;)

henryChinaski
September 20th 2022


4610 Comments


I mean, it's definitely not a 1.0

veninblazer
September 20th 2022


13121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review for a great album. Twenty-Five is a masterpiece.

mkmusic1995
September 21st 2022


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

- Twenty-Five is a masterpiece -



Hard agree

swipenet
September 21st 2022


3193 Comments


Just need a 4 review now. Is this the most-reviewed recent album?

Manatea
September 21st 2022


262 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn’t like this album much but very solid review. Pos.

Also glad I didn’t review this myself…

Storm In A Teacup
September 21st 2022


40926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Initially a huge disappointment. My 4.5 prediction was a colossal error in predictive judgement. I hope it will grow on me but I also don't want to listen to a song as bad as Cancer ever again.

AYakkingYak
September 21st 2022


24 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad to see a positive review. People are so dramatic when it comes to this album. Anyone who thinks this is a 1 is delusional.

anarchistfish
September 21st 2022


30024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's great, but it's no Zombie I or II

SomeCallMeTim
September 21st 2022


284 Comments


"My 4.5 prediction was a colossal error in predictive judgement."

you rated an album with your prediction lol wtf

Gyromania
September 21st 2022


35131 Comments


These guys are fucking awful but this review is not. Take an upvote

mkmusic1995
September 22nd 2022


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thank you

joshieboy
September 22nd 2022


7938 Comments


Not sure I've properly listened to this band since the Zombie EP.

mkmusic1995
September 22nd 2022


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

If you want something that's really got the bite of the Zombie EP, I would check it 8:18. It's a little extra gloomy but it's aggressive.

swipenet
September 23rd 2022


3193 Comments


Ratings spread badly, needs more 1.5s

swipenet
September 23rd 2022


3193 Comments


And 3s prob



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