The Devil Wears Prada – ‘Color Decay’

By Dave Stewart

When we sat down with The Devil Wears Prada’s guitarist and vocalist Jeremy DePoyster last year around the release of the ‘ZII’ EP, he told us that he and the band wanted to completely rethink the way they approached releasing music. Following in the footsteps of bands like Bring Me The Horizon, he stated that they wanted to move towards a headspace where they could “let each of the songs exhibit where we’re feeling creatively in that moment.” Their first steps into that landscape comes in the form of their brand new record ‘Color Decay’, presenting twelve tracks of classic TDWP songwriting with a host of fresh twists. 

If you’ve come here for a potent dose of classic Prada, then you won’t be disappointed. Tracks like the anthemic ‘Watchtower’, the devilishly heavy ‘Hallucinate’ and the rip-roaring ‘Sacrifice’ all scratch that itch; bludgeoning metalcore riffs and uplifting choruses locked in an endless ebb and flow as vocalist Mike Hranica recites dark and often harrowing poetry over it, often slipping into an almost spoken-word croon.

Album opener ‘Exhibition’ also has those moments but also allows the electronic side of the band to lead the charge, swerving in and out of the foreground around DePoyster’s lament of “welcome to the way down.” All the material is instantly recognisable as The Devil Wears Prada but moments like this are where the new album shines, and there’s plenty more where that came from.

‘Salt’ is one of the most commercial sounding tracks they’ve released, but that isn’t a bad thing at all. Taking influence from the aforementioned Bring Me The Horizon, the powerful guitars in the main motif launch the song into the stratosphere right from the off, with the dual vocal attack of Hranica and DePoyster working at its absolute finest from beginning to end. ‘Time’ is an expertly walked balancing act between calm and carnage, flicking a switch from haunting moody passages to razor-sharp distortion without it sounding uncomfortable or out of place. Energetic and moody giant ‘Noise’ is both infectiously catchy and deeply moving in its delivery, with some of Hranica’s most thought-provoking lyrics on show. The conveyance of the line “I’m existing as a ghost but I’m still afloat, dizzy drifting from left to right” and the way the music shifts with the honesty is, simply put, beautiful. That happens a lot on this album.

The soul-stirring and candid side of the band has always been one of the things that makes them special, and that characteristic has never been as prominent as it is throughout ‘Color Decay’. The pained ‘Trapped’ is a tidal wave of emotion that crashes over and over again, Hranica and DePoyster narrating two different sides of the same story on this towering epic. ‘Twenty Five’ is a solemn and gloomy slow burner, with the soft piano tones slowly ascending towards an explosion of ethereal guitars. There’s the ominous inner-turbulence on show in ‘Fire’, the honest and self-deprecating cries in ‘Broken’, the heart-breaking finale ‘Cancer’ – on the whole, this album represents one of the band’s most experimental efforts and it may just be one of their best, too.

There’s something so alluring about the way The Devil Wears Prada continue to evolve. The band have transformed themselves from screamo staple into metalcore bar raisers, and this album sees them push it even higher. They still manage to retain their core characteristics – Hranica’s unmistakable emotive voice, the crushing dense breakdowns, the glistening choruses – but there’s a maturity and attention to detail on show that makes it feel like hearing the band for the first time all over again. The fact that keyboardist Jonathan Gering took the reins to produce the record may have something to do with this, able to really transform the band’s collective ideas into a cohesive product, and it’s really worked. This album is confident, diverse and powerful, displaying them as a band that have far outgrown their roots.

‘Color Decay’ as a title may accurately represent the lyrical content, but the music contained within is some of the most colourful that they’ve ever made. They really have captured a special moment in their career and, if their new outlook on creating is anything to go by, this will be the first of many.

DAVE STEWART

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