The Devil Wears Prada - Transit Blues

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Label: Rise Records
Release Date: October 7, 2016

Track listing:

  1. Praise Poison
  2. Daughter
  3. Worldwide
  4. Lock & Load
  5. Flyover States
  6. Detroit Tapes
  7. The Condition
  8. To The Key Of Evergreen
  9. Submersion
  10. Home For Grave Pt. II
  11. Transit Blues

Review:

I never thought The Devil Wears Prada would be a band that I’d enjoy; that is, until their fourth LP Dead Throne hit the shelves in late 2011. The review in HM Magazine was enough to capture my interest, and so, I decided to listen to a couple of songs. “Mammoth” and “My Questions” were the first two that I remember being really impressed by, with their improved singing and mesmerizing guitar work. A lot has happened to the American metalcore band in the last five years, and Transit Blues is the most recent trace of their existence.

“Praise Poison” opens up the album on a strong note, with its surprising nu-metal aesthetic and progressive structure. It’s unlike anything else the band has ever done before, and perhaps this is due to the lineup changes that Prada has undergone the past few years (including Haste The Day drummer, Giuseppe Capolupo, performing on this album). The choppy guitar riffs are way too fun and the song will surely be an apt addition to their live set.

Unfortunately, most of the other songs on the album are not quite as enjoyable. “Daughter” is a decent enough hardcore track, if not a tad repetitive. However, by the time “Worldwide” came on, I finally began to admit to myself that I was disappointed. The song has a talk/scream verse, something which is new for the band, and something that I don’t think necessarily proved successful. To me, it just sounded rather empty. The chorus is catchy but the lyrics are shallow, reading more like an intro geography lesson than good poetry.

Personally, I found that the lyrics in general were the most disappointing part about Transit Blues. Mike Hranica notes in this interview that the main theme is transition, but with this come a number of sub-topics. You have a song commenting on gun control, a couple others referencing existential and Russian literature, a few about life on the road, and so forth. Despite this variety, I found that the emphasis on band-life made the lyrics generally unrelatable. As well, the lyrics are quite void of the spiritual substance that so many past songs contained. Though I generally hold Hranica’s poetry in high regards, the lyrics on this album just seemed cold, cryptic, and distant.

Transit Blues is somewhat of a slower and moodier listening experience, overall. It has all sorts of ambient keyboard and guitar parts, talking, etc. You can definitely hear the influence that Hranica’s other band, God Alone, had on this record. This is fine to some extent, but when I want hard, screaming metal, it fails to deliver. That being said, the album certainly has its enjoyable moments. “To The Key Of Evergreen” is a highlight, with its pummeling intro and effective transitions from heavy to atmospheric sounds. For a band that hasn’t recorded a five minute song in a long while, I was impressed by how well it held my attention. “The Condition” is another standout, containing some of Jeremy DePoyster’s best vocal work to date. I actually thought the lyrics were pretty intriguing here, with its melancholic sentiments about human life and vanity.

Though I wouldn’t consider Transit Blues to be the worst offering from the band, I think it’s one of their weaker efforts. It’s an improvement from the Space EP, but I would choose 8:18 or Dead Throne over this any day.

RIYL: Haste The Day, Being As An Ocean, God Alone

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Man, this is one of those bands that I always try to get into. When I listen, though, I feel like I am an old man, and out of their target demographic. I did enjoy the Zombie EP and Dead Throne to an extent (I even bought them), and his vocals on Dead Throne actually won me over—funny that almost everyone else hates them. With that said, I bought 8:18 blind, couldn’t get into it at all, and gave it to this kid at church that I used to teach in Sunday School (he is in his early 20’s now!).… Read more »
Joseph Davila
I am in total disagreement with you on this one… I really like this album. It has a really different feel to it, while still managing to be distinctly TDWP. The music feels a little rougher and more organic on this one, and I think that it works well for the overall atmosphere of the album. Also, Dead Throne is literally my least favorite TDWP album. Having listened to them since I was in Junior High school, Dead Throne really fell flat when compared to their prior releases (especially after Zombie EP). Though admittedly, Dead Throne has grown on me… Read more »

Curious, what didn’t you like about Dead Throne? And which album of theirs do you like most?

Joseph Davila
I think one of my biggest issues with Dead Throne was the vocals. I don’t know if he was just changing up the style of his screams, or if his voice was going bad during the time of recording, but he sounds like a dying cat on a good chunk of the album. I could start to hear the transition in vox on Zombie EP, though they weren’t as bad. Their subsequent albums have been a bit better as far as the screams go, and I don’t know if it has something to do with production or something else. I… Read more »

Yeah, I’ve heard complaints about Mike’s vox on Dead Throne. I like them well enough. You can better understand what he’s saying I think, though the vox on the older albums were unreal.

John Amos

Agree to disagree – nu-metal? Ehhh, no. I think this album tops Dead Throne and 8:18. Heavy, thrashy while bringing in a lot of the atmospheric stuff they experimented with on Space EP. Giuseppe’s drumming is a huge part of why this album is so good. Also worth noting for fans of The Chariot (R.I.P.) that Stevis does guest vocals on “Detroit Tapes.”

Maybe I was too lenient with the term … haha. Personally, I thought the intro and one of the riffs sounded like Slipknot. Honestly, I didn’t notice that much of a difference between Guiseppe’s drumming and that of Williams’. But I’m not a drummer, so maybe that’s why.

Logan F

I love the slower ambient sound of this record. The Condition is one of my favorite Prada songs in awhile. I’m completely onboard with the maturation of the band.

Roman Ramirez

BACK FROM THE DEAD WEEINIES!!!!!!!!!!

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