Really good Metalcore comes at a premium nowadays, so it’s fairly easy to sniff it out. The Devil Wears Prada have talent, and 8:18 is the physical proof of it. Now on their fifth record, the focus is on pushing their sound to new levels, and they’ve done this by going one step further than Dead Throne and plummeting in to even darker territory.
To do that, there’s no better way than starting the record with ‘Gloom’. Exactly as the title suggests, it’s fairly sluggish to begin with because the band have the experience to work their way in on their own terms. While other bands charge in from the first beat, they have confidence to hold off until unleashing hell midway through, and it’s these subtle choices that really crown the impact. Yet, they get straight to the point on ‘First Sight’, affirming the fact they can cover all areas.
The vocals have been a talking point since the release of single ‘Martyrs’, with some complaining that Mike Hranica has lost his touch. Nonsense. His vocals are gritty, coarse and imperfect, but that all accumulates to sound real and unaltered. The same can be said for Jeremy DePoyster because his cleans have come so far from the auto-tuned efforts on ‘Plagues’, belting out the insane chorus of ‘Home For Grave’ with ease. Never have The Devil Wears Prada attempted a song like ‘Care More’ either, but by pushing themselves, they’ve trusted DePoyster’s cleans to lead the gripping and chilling message.
Even though we know what to expect from The Devil Wears Prada, they can still spring up a few surprises. Success and wider backing has not lead to a falsified or self-conscious sound, but has given them the opportunity to deliver another one of the genre’s best records thus far. 8:18 is purposely rough around the edges, and both they and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Reviewer: Matt Borucki