ARTIST: The Devil Wears Prada
LABEL: Roadrunner Records
Once a band has released so many albums, or been around for so many years, I start to become wary of new music by them. There are so many examples of bands releasing one too many albums which basically ruins them for me. When I heard that The Devil Wears Prada was releasing new music I was both excited and nervous. I loved Dead Throne so much and I wasn’t sure how they would manage to top it.
Something that is a complaint of many fans is the change in Mike Hranica’s vocals. His voice has definitely changed after years of touring and recording albums, there’s no doubt about that. The band also stated that they went with a more raw sound for Mike’s vocals on 8:18, so it would sound more like he does when the band perform live. Either way, it was a bit of a shock on Dead Throne when he yelled some of the lyrics instead of his normal screams. I have to admit, I find it a little strange at times, but it fits well with the direction they have taken their sound.
8:18 starts off with “Gloom,” which was the very first song they performed live off this album. This was before they had even announced they’d be releasing a new album. It opens with a creepy synth intro, and that melody is played repeatedly throughout the song. This is definitely one of their heaviest tracks too, and hardly features any clean vocals.
While there are different things I like about each track on the album, I have two personal favorites. “Sailor’s Prayer” is the first. The clean vocals are what sell it for me on this song. We don’t get to hear Jeremy all that much on this album, and this track is a reminder that he really is a great vocalist. It’s incredibly catchy as well, and you will be singing along in no time. My next favorite track is “Care More.” It’s the only song where Jeremy is singing the entire time, and only briefly features Mike. It’s eerie, slow, and will give you goosebumps the first time you listen to it. Maybe even the first few times.
Does the guitar sound familiar on “Transgress” right around 50 seconds? Are you not sure why it sounds so familiar?. Well, it’s a throwback to one of their older tracks, “Assistant To The Regional Manager,” off With Roots Above And Branches Below. They have a few other throwbacks throughout the album — I’ll leave you to find those for yourself.
“Martyrs” and “Home For Grave” were both perfect songs to be released as singles. “Martyrs” gives fans a little bit of the sound we heard on Zombie EP, while “Home For Grave” feels a little bit like With Roots Above And Branches Below. There really aren’t any tracks that sound quite the same as the two of those do.
If you enjoyed Dead Throne, then you will have no problem getting into 8:18. My biggest complaint is that their sound seems to have gotten lighter, and Mike Hranica’s vocals are more yelling than ear drum shattering screams. I think any old school fan will admit they miss those killer vocals, and while I love their new stuff I wish they’d bring back some of those growls! I’d like to see something like their Zombie EP except full length, themed or not.
I recommend checking out one of their singles, and if you like it, then don’t hesitate picking up 8:18.
Review written by Kriston McConnell