If you had given me a The Devil Wears Prada CD a few years ago, I would have probably said “no thank you”. To my surprise their new CD Dead Throne shows signs of improvement. The lyrics, music, and production all show newfound maturity.
The Devil Wears Prada’s previous albums have silly song titles, but serious lyrics. Maybe they were trying to lighten up the usual serious nature of the metalcore scene, or to be ironic; either way I couldn’t stand it. However, the new album Dead Throne doesn’t have the silly song titles. The lyrics are more intense, better written, and generally serious. The lyrics have a theme that focuses on idolatry; according to Mike Hranica “The record is mostly based on idolatry. There’s a lot of different lyrical content. It’s not a concept record, but a lot of it has to do with anti-idolatry… it’s the idea of putting up our idols, heroes, and entities we worship onto a figurative throne. Those things won’t stay up there, and they’re not meant to be up there. That idea behind Dead Throne is making kings out of things that shouldn’t be kings”. Personally, I think this is a interesting spin on a Metalcore album, but also very fitting. I took an example from the song Born to Lose:
Blessed be those who have no idols. NO IDOLS
Invoke holy honor, sanctify the patient.
I don’t see the world the same.
I’m no one’s hero, so just forget my name.
As one can see, it’s pretty obvious that these have a biblical theme to them. Again, I think that’s cool as some things in the bible can be very intense. I commend them for taking a stand, especially in today’s metal scene.
Musically, The Devil Wears Prada continues with the usual chugga- chugga on songs like “R.I.T.” and “Forever Decay”. But their use of muddy guitar toned riffs sets them apart from other metalcore bands. On the other hand, songs like “Kansas” and “Holdfast” are more melodic with some interesting guitar harmonies, and keyboardist James Baney strays from his usual techno-synth to a more ambient addition to Prada’s songs. The singing on Dead Throne can sometimes be annoying, but the mix of clean and scream vocals allow the listener to stay focused on the song without screaming oneself. Jeremy DePoyster clean vocals are his best yet, and helps smooth out the screams and death vocals.
The Devil Wears Prada brought in a new producer Adam Dutkiewicz (aka Adam D of Killswitch Engage) and this furthers the idea that the band has matured. It’s no secret that Adam D pushes his artists hard while recording, and I think it really shows on the album. The band seems to be taking themselves a little more seriously.
Dead Throne is The Devil Wears Prada’s best release to date. Although they push no boundaries with their music, in the metalcore scene they are a force to reckoned with, and moving on from the silly song titles and pop culture teenage angst lyrics is the best move this band could have made. A serious, well-written and well-played album.