By Linh-Chi Nguyen, Courier Music Editor
Powerful and relentless, metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada concocts a twenty-one minute EP satiated with sheer momentum and minimal disappointment. Originating from Dayton, Ohio, the band produces an EP that is more brutal than their last three full lengths: Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord, Plagues, and With Roots Above and Branches Below. Now The Devil Wears Prada delivers Zombie EP, which is bursting with high-energy belts and mind-blowing riffs. The EP features a zombie apocalypse theme that is powerful and daunting, which in turn satisfies most metalcore lovers of this decade.
Each song is completely fusillading, exhausted of any potential for anything greater than what has already been produced. The EP is less melodic than the last album; in consequence, the brutality of the band is clearly presented in this EP, as well as their talent as instrumentalists. In addition, Mike Hranica screams in a fashion that shows a notable difference from their last full-length album.
Although the lyrics are almost undecipherable, it features substantial lyrics that are amiss in most music today. Even if the EP neglects to produce the more poetic and meaningful lyrics that they have in the past, it still attempts to showcase their talent as outstanding lyricists. The songs contain the theme of a zombie disease that affects individuals with lunacy and continues forth until it informs listeners of the tale of a lost “Survivor.”
Previously, the band attempted to infuse subtleties in their lyrics about how worthless materialism really is; as a Christian band, they have placed heavy emphasis on this mindset. Their anti-materialistic mentality is definitely lacking since they stray off in a different tangent on the EP.
The first song, “Escape” is stifling. It incorporates Mike Hranica's newfound range as the screamer into slathered instrumentals and Daniel William's intensifying drumming, which deems The Devil Wears Prada a tremendously great band.
The song also features vocalist Jeremy DeyPoyster's singing, which may seem less prominent than his work in With Roots Above and Branches Below, the band’s most recent full-length album. However, his talent as a singer is never lacking. The song is about the want to escape from existing zombies that attempt to claw at each life. It never slows down, which is reflective of the need for escapism.
Next is the song, “Anatomy,” which is replete of the band's infamous breakdowns and Hranica's wide-ranged screaming. The song is about what make zombies actual zombies, which is briefly described in the lines: “Teeth missing, beyond repair, fragile flesh falling away/ With fever, with virus comes the harshest judgment/ Haunting elements create a horrific monster.”
The only single from the EP, “Outnumbered,” perfectly conveys all elements of the band. It begins with a news report, exclaiming: “if you find yourself out in a threatening position, please do not hesitate to act/ Again, this is not a test/ This is not a joke.” It is speckled with a twist that is unpredictable and refreshing; it is structured in a way that the band wouldn't normally do. The whole idea of the song is the odds during a zombie apocalypse. People will be outnumbered since the ratio between humans and zombies are likely to be one to a million.
“Revival” is beautifully polished with DeyPoyster's clean vocals and Hranica's high screams. Their attempt at adding experimental elements to the album, such as some piano and unconventional breakdowns, were definitely successful and helped to create a very heavy and refined song.
The last song, “Survivor” is sensibly a song for the downtrodden. The song is almost mean, as it speaks of an individual's story of depression. It is the most different since it is more of a bass-driven song. When the song reaches midway, DeyPoyster lays down a long chorus that is sung with much passion and excellence.
Despite losing touch with the anti-materialistic mindset that they've tried to attain in their last full lengths, the EP is not lacking in any other element. If anything, The Devil Wears Prada fails to disappoint their fans, with songs that maximize their potential as a band.
It is unclear if this much heavier direction the band is going is an indication of other workings in the future or if it is just a playful debut of a different aspect of the band. Whether the band is aiming to shoot off in one direction or the other, they continue to produce music that guarantees them the acclamation as amazing musicians.