The Devil Wears Prada – Color Decay (Album Review)

The Devil Wears Prada – Color Decay (Album Review)

Metalcore stalwarts The Devil Wears Prada follow in the footsteps of ZII’s finest with their eighth full-length, Color Decay. Solid State Records delivers the glacial emotions on Friday, September 16, 2022.

With their full-length debut, 2006’s Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord, the Ohio sextet put their already famous name on the map and took to the road. Proving themselves prolific artists, they would go on to deliver six additional albums—including 2007’s Plagues, 2011’s Dead Throne, and 2016’s Transit Blues—over the next decade. That time was spent trampling over the constructs of genre and formula while brutally defying expectations. Yet, despite a large fanbase across the globe, the band would not break onto radio until the release of their most recent full-length, 2019’s The Act, thanks to the single “Chemical.”

However, it’s ZII’s “Nora” that serves as the bridge to their epic eighth studio recording. With Color Decay, they take a jump to the left and a step to the right, offering a new perspective from a band that has successfully conquered nearly two decades. And for The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP)—Vocalist Mike Hranica, Guitarist/Vocalist Jeremy DePoyster, Guitarist Kyle Sipress, Bassist Mason Nagy, Drummer Giuseppe Capolupo, and Keyboardist Jonathan Gering—the accumulated emotion behind those years churns with the might of a violent whirlpool amid these 12 tracks.

Produced by Gering, there’s a suffocating authenticity to Color Decay and its frustrated emotion. For those that have already imbibed singles such as “Salt,” “Time,” and “Watchtower,” the full collection is not likely to inspire the need for a defibrillator. Clearly, the record is the work of a band that continues to evolve, pushing so far outside their original packaging so as to cross into genres that might surprise some listeners. But they are careful to open with “Exhibition,” a song that melds all aspects of The Devil Wears Prada into an unconventional fight song, a shapeshifting commentary on the fickle nature of our (material) society.

From there, the album takes off in a million directions but all are equally catchy. Tracks like the aforementioned “Salt” allow DePoyster’s soaring melodies their moment, imparting a greater contrast between the light and the dark, one that screams more violently than anything we’ve heard from Hranica. A definite plus, it also highlights the vulnerability in the frontman’s words, his self-awareness, anxiety, and fear of stagnation—a feeling that the entire band is quick to echo. It’s a common feeling in our dog-eat-dog world, as is rampant insecurity in an overstimulated world (“Noise”). Though, for sheer genuineness alone, his pained exhalations on “Twenty-Five” perfectly depicts the weight of drowning beneath a glacier of regret.

But TDWP is a heavy band and a band that never stops evolving. For “Time,” home to some of the album’s heaviest moments, they brilliantly meld brain-melting Metal with quasi-EDM choruses, entrancing listeners into the downward spiral. Combining the best of all worlds, “Watchtower” explodes into a sonic aneurysm with thick bass, while “Sacrifice” delivers the angst. However, it’s “Hallucinate,” a haunting symphony that is both an agonizing migraine and its cure, that is apt to be adopted by fans hellbent on worshipping the brutal.

The beauty of Color Decay is that much of its material sits somewhere in the no man’s land between the darkness and the (musically) light. “Broken” and “Cancer,” for example, are driven by pure emotion. “Trapped” sees Hranica pouring his heart out to glittering guitars and steady bass, building in tension to something that is all-encompassing, while the heavy atmospherics of “Fire” proudly move the band beyond the Rock realm.

In fact, despite the fact that TDWP largely adheres to the Metalcore formula, they have matured their sound to include multiple layers of experimentation, allowing their choruses to truly pop and their compositions to lack predictability. This is their savior and what will continue to keep listeners invested in the band and Color Decay, which is easily their catchiest record to date. Here, the polished edges point a spotlight on the scalpel of emotions, offering yet another perspective on what it means to be “heavy.” For this, Cryptic Rock gives The Devil Wears Prada’s latest 5 out of 5 stars.

 

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Jeannie Blue
[email protected]

Jeannie likes to joke that she is little, yellow, blue, and different. She seemingly popped out of her mother's womb with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. Many moons ago - in what feels like a separate lifetime - Jean was co-editor of an online music magazine that afforded her great opportunities to interview and photograph some of her favorite bands/musicians: Tommy Lee, Good Charlotte, Warrant, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, Sevendust, New Found Glory, Deftones, Poison, VH-1 "Band On the Run" Flickerstick, an endless list of unsigned locals, and so many others. These days, she can usually be found hiking aimlessly through the woods in her favorite Technicolor sneakers with a Nikon in hand and her rescue dog, Molly, who is a bit hare-brained.

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