Review || The Devil Wears Prada - "Color Decay"

  It's no secret that The Devil Wears Prada is one of the most consistent bands of our time. Growing out of the metalcore scene of the early '10s, they were able to break out of the creative confines of their genre and evolve as musicians. 2019's "The Act" was monumental in establishing once and for all what the band is capable of, crafting a personal album with diverse nuances. Last year, TDWP dropped the long awaited "ZII" EP, where they revisited their roots from a modern perspective, proving that they never lost the nerve and qualities that made them stand out back then but chose to downplay them as they grew older. 2022 finds them with a new record, titled "Color Decay", due out September 16th via Solid State records.

If you thought that "The Act" was an experimental emotionally charged record, boy do I have news for you... "Color Decay" kicks it up a notch and allows even greater space for all that grief to come forward. Much like the previous album, I don't really expect everyone to immediately fall in love with this one either. The thing that becomes noticeable early on is how much of the vocal performance is centered around Jeremy DePoyster's gut-wrenching cleans. The warm timbre of his tone becomes invaluable in coloring the landscape on expressiveness that Mike Hranica designed with his distinguishable screams. Lyrically, TDWP continues navigating darker seas while anchored in a pragmatic present. Even though it feels that sometimes they're on the brink of resignation or plagued with crushing self-doubt, their spirit doesn't fall into nihilism, despite some seemingly defeatist moments, and still manages to find instances of clarity. 

Musically, we can find some beautiful contrasts throughout the record. For the most part, the compositions have a more radio-friendly approach, ranging from the usual catchy mid-tempo tracks which appears to be the new norm in contemporary metalcore, to ambient spaces to add unexpected variety, to a damn crushing power ballad ("Twenty Five"). If the previous songs didn't get you, this one most certainly will. And while the setting of the songs lies more on the melodic, emotive side, TDWP has cleverly planted some outbursts of intensity. While "Watchtower" introduces a gushing mayhem early on, it's "Sacrifice", one of the hardest songs in the record, that takes the cake, with an inspired combination of a contagious hook and a vicious breakdown reminiscing of the band's former days.

Overall, "Color Decay" is quite a pleasant album. It's not a drastically different from their recent discography, but it shows that the band has developed a sound they feel comfortable in. It borrows elements from "The Act" and "ZII", and creates good dynamics of heaviness and memorable melodies. The lyrical content, potent as it was, doesn't overshadow the compositions but does immerse the listener in an agitated state of mind. The Devil Wears Prada manages to evolve as musicians and remain true to their sound, in a time when their former peers cautiously try to jump back in the metalcore trends -and if you ask me, that says a lot about their artistic integrity. 


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