It’s been two years since we’ve had a full length release from American Metalcore act The Devil Wears Prada but with Dead Throne the guys are, “back for the fourth time around and still meaning every word.” (Untidaled)
WRAABB was TDWP’s best example of their melodic-heavy Metalcore style, but with 2010’s Zombie EP we heard an evolution in style and structure. Dead Throne continues the process with a beefier, faster, louder Prada. If you heard their work on Zombie then imagine that in full length form with more melodies, their spiritual focus, and you’ve got the basis of Dead Throne. But that’s not to say Dead Throne is a re-hash of the EP with new lyrics, although you can easily hear what the albums have in common. Of all the similarities the easiest to pick out are the heaviness, and the more frequent use of Hranica’s booming lows.
The new album starts out in your face and never backs off. There’s even an instrumental song that’s heavier than some of their older material. “What you hold dear offers no salvation” from ”Dead Throne” is the first line to give you an indication of the subject matter. The album as a whole deals with idolatry and the idea that people are more concerned with themselves and the world around them than they should be. But false idols aren’t the only issue dealt with. Hranica also deals with more personal struggles such as in “R.I.T (Rest In Torment)” where he says, “You see me for what I am: damaged.” and also, “I will bask in the blackness of my darkest days.”, giving you the idea he’s gone or is going through some internal conflicts. Depression, love lost, insomnia, and copy-cat musicians are all addressed. They’re all handled well but no message stands out more than that of anti-idolatry. “Mammoth”, “Vengeance”, and “Born To Lose” face the challenge head on. These tracks are among my favorites as well as “Constance” which is about a fear of insomnia and also includes guest vocals from Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying.
Of the catalogue TDWP has produced thus far, I keep WRAABB and Dead Throne in high regards (not to say I don’t love all their stuff). Dead Throne is another great release but I do have a couple minor grievances. One of the elements I enjoyed most about “pre-Zombie” Prada was their “melody before heavy” formula (if that makes sense). The songs weren’t as continuously heavy as opposed to building to a climax midway through the song or in the end (or starting with one : “Big Wiggly Style”, “Danger: Wildman”). But with Dead Throne the album is so consistently heavy that the breakdowns or “mosh parts” are blended in with everything else. I love the heaviness but it leaves no room for the breakdowns to stand out. My other small complaint has to do with the vocal work. Although Mike and Jeremy are great as usual, I feel that there is almost too much going on vocally. There are Mike’s signature highs, lows, and some new stuff from him, Jeremy’s singing/yelling, and even some background screaming/yelling from Chris Rubey (guitar). I respect the guys trying new things but they sometimes sound cluttered or repetitive. As good as the new music sounds it’s almost unfair to cover it with all the vocals.
With those minor things aside I really like Dead Throne and from what I’m hearing so does everyone else. In typical TDWP fashion the guys bring substance filled lyrics over their new, not so typical TDWP style. They challenged themselves musically and lyrically while also challenging you, the listener.
“It all comes back full circle.” (Mammoth)
You can get the album from iTunes or anywhere music is sold.