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With Roots Above and Branches Below

The Devil Wears Prada

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Album Review

The question of progression for the Devil Wears Prada lies not in innovation but refinement, with the vaguely Christian screamo sliding effortlessly toward pure metalcore on their third album, With Roots Above and Branches Below. Such developments are subtle, all a matter of precision both in how the band executes their metallic breakdown and how they swing from bellowed verses to crooned choruses without a hiccup. By now, this is a familiar template for Devil Wears Prada but With Roots sees an intensification of both elements, the heavy riffs almost crushing in their weight, the melodic portions gliding easily even they never ever risk being catchy. This dexterity is impressive although it's a bit exhausting; acoustic guitars and piano are the eyes of the hurricane, a brief respite from the cookie monster screams and digital distortion. DWP's reliance on multi-segmented songs, shuffling through the breakdowns and choruses at will, gives With Roots Above and Branches Below the impression of an elongated suite, one where there's no inherent meaning — it's hard to follow what's being screamed and songtitles with references to Scientology and The Office don't give much away either (if anything they suggest that the songs aren't really about anything, either) — apart from the sheer onslaught of sound.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Dayton, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Dayton, Ohio Christian metalcore act the Devil Wears Prada took their name from the novel and movie, but rebranded it to fit their anti-materialistic ethics. Formed in 2005, the band consisted of singer and lyricist Mike Hranica (who handles the death growl vocals), guitarist and vocalist Jeremy DePoyster (who does the clean vocals), guitarist Chris Rubey, bassist Andy Trick, keyboardist James Baney, and drummer Daniel Williams. This lineup recorded the 2005 EP Patterns of a Horizon, which was self-released...
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With Roots Above and Branches Below, The Devil Wears Prada
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