What more can be said about a band with (now) 8 full-length albums, 2 zombie-themed EPs, and a space-themed EP? If nothing else, The Devil Wears Prada proves on their 8th album Color Decay that they are fearless, capable of innovating their brand of metalcore without losing themselves in the process. This is an album filled with aggression, emotion, and a healthy dose of introspection.
Throughout the album, there is an expansive tone that explores several elements: melodic, synth, rage-full, and chaotic. Vocalist Mike Hranica describes the process the band went through on this album as: “trying to bring as many elements into metalcore as possible and push it out from there via the vehicle that is Prada.”
Color Decay is one of TDWP’s more ambitious albums, pulling on threads from all of their previous records and tying them together remarkably well. The band shows great care in navigating largely bleak themes, such as victimhood, the damages of consumerism, abandonment, broken relationships, and letdown and disappointment. It makes for an engaging listen that is compelling from the first line of “Exhibition:” “It’s so hard to recognize that these diamonds fail to glow.”
Each track on this album has its own distinct atmosphere while never producing a sense of disconnectedness across the runtime. Accessibility is in the midst of the intricacies, creating relatability to the lyrics. And there’s plenty for listeners to connect with in the lyricism. The pacing is excellent, and the honesty in the music strengthens how attentive TDWP is to the seemingly minute details of their craft.
Two surprising stand-outs from Color Decay are actually some of the slowest songs on the album: “Cancer” and “Twenty-Five.” Both are introspective examples of Prada’s impressive range. “Twenty-Five” is a ballad (with a very unique time signature) and lament over the extremely painful failure of a relationship. The sorrow felt in Hranica’s voice is palpable and uncomfortable. The song is obviously meaningful to him as well as to the fans.
“Cancer” is, arguably, the thesis of the album, and maybe the most lyrically compelling. Behind palm-muted guitars, piano, strings, and straightforward drumming, they explore the oddness of hoping a cause of death is cancer and not suicide or overdose. The cognitive dissonance in that kind of sentiment is astounding, but it speaks to how, as a culture, things have degraded to such a point that the hope of a friend’s dying is that it isn’t at their own hand.
For fans looking for brutality, the heaviness hits in full throughout this album. While more subtle than past works (a la Plagues), the careful placement of their aggression results in a more impactful punch. “Sacrifice,” “Noise,” and “Watchtower” are all great demonstrations of this principle. These tracks clearly show that TDWP hasn’t lost a step when it comes to dropping the hammer.