Review: The Devil Wears Prada – 'Transit Blues'

The Devil Wears Prada have certainly proved themselves worthy of their reputation as one of the most progressive bands on the rock scene today. Their ‘Space’ EP, released last year, attracted a great deal of critical acclaim, and now the band are set to release their sixth full length studio album ‘Transit Blues’ which, yet again, displays a natural progression as the band evolves and grows. Dan Korneff (Pierce The Veil, Motionless In White) produced the album, which explores the themes of transition, separation, and mourning. If, like me, you like to take particular note of the context and meaning behind music, then ‘Daughter’, the first release of the album, is definitely for you. This song explores vocalist Mike Hranica’s passion for literature, and is distinctly reminiscent of the Simone de Beauvoir novel, ‘The Mandarins’. For example, some of the most poignant lyrics, “over a lifetime/I never loved her”, relate directly to the climax of the novel, where the protagonist reveals that she never truly loved her daughter. Here, there is a feeling of separation and of spiraling, and this comes through exquisitely in the music. Instrumentally, the breakdowns are extremely heavy, and pack a real punch. With the addition of the guttural vocals, the song becomes almost haunting in nature. A great first single, and a great first impression of the album. ‘Worldwide’ really is what it says on the tin! From Brooklyn to Tokyo this track truly takes us on a journey. The flurry of widespread locations throughout the song also contribute to a feeling of restlessness, again reflected in the lyrics; “… restless/feeling like I need a change“. The wonderful mix of Hranica and DePoyster’s vocals, in conjunction with Trick’s fantastic bass work, give the song a melodic, sublime sound, whilst maintaining The Devil Wears Prada’s hard rock rep. Perhaps the most pervading theme of the song is the separation created by moving from place to place. ‘Detroit Tapes’ is as heavy as they come, and is memorable from start to finish. The highlight is without doubt it’s introductory riff! You can easily picture a crowd going crazy for this song in the live environment. ‘The Condition’ is altogether different. It begins calmly, and you would be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to a different The Devil Wears Prada. DePoyster’s vocals shine here, and give the song a great deal of its melancholic, atmospheric feel. This song, in particular, seems to explore the need to cut ties and to be free, explaining that when held down, it is hard to ‘look forward to anything’. The rising cadence peaks halfway through, and the track softens again before fading out. Of all songs on the album, ‘The Condition’ is, without doubt, the most captivating. The title track closes ‘Transit Blues’. As a listener, you cannot help empathise with the pressure to ‘keep it together’ that is stressed throughout. While it is as heavy, and certainly as captivating as the likes of ‘Detroit Tapes’ and ‘To The Key Of Evergreen’, this song has a very dark feel to it. It’s a multi-faceted, layered song, with each piece, from Capolupo’s incomparable drum work, to Sipress’ sublime shredding, fitting together masterfully. Talk about going out with a bang! After having unleashed five successful albums onto the world already, some listeners, I imagine, may find it difficult to adequately conceive just how bands like The Devil Wears Prada can possibly continue to progress and grow at such a pace. Well, I can honestly say they meet, and exceed, all expectations for this release! The Devil Wears Prada head out on a triple headline tour with Memphis May Fire and Silverstein. This is certainly one for the diary, especially considering this will be their first full UK outing since 2013. See you in the pit! ‘Transit Blues’ is released on October 7th via Rise Records. Review: Amy Jefferies.  

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