The Devil Wears Prada are one of those bands that constantly feel like they should be moving onto bigger and better things. Now on their 5th album 8:18 they have been plying their brand of atmospheric metalcore for eight years and despite having an impressive amount of material out in that time, they have never seemed to move beyond being almost there.
8:18 seems to continue this trend of just missing the mark. Full of songs that have plenty going for them, but just never quite hit that sweet spot, this is an album that feels like it could be momentous but is just missing that little sprinkle of fairy dust. It’s even more disappointing when you take into account how it starts, with “Gloom” attempting to punch you in the face. Sounding like the bastard child of The Prodigy and Killswitch Engage it’s one of the best examples of how good metalcore can sound when infused with electronic elements. It’s also the track that confirms to me that these guys could be special.
Sadly though, too many songs on this album fail to live up to that early promise. “Care More”, which has industrial influences, never really gets going and songs like “Number 11”, while not bad, are just kind of there. It’s also one of the many albums this year which could have used having a couple of tracks cut off it. When it comes to albums of this genre, less is really more and if this was only 11 tracks long it would feel like it had a lot more immediacy to it.
Thankfully there is still enough in this to get your teeth into, with “Sailor’s Prey” showing that TDWP have the ability to write those big choruses that you need to make it as a metal band in the 21st century. While “8:18” shows it’s that there is more to their bow than the full blown metal tracks, with it being a much calmer piece of music, even as Mike Hranica screams over the top. It shows they have the ability to mix things up and are as capable of stripping everything back as they are throwing the kitchen sink at it.
The Devil Wears Prada are still looking for that album that bumps them up to the top of the pile and sadly this isn’t it. It does however prove that they are perfectly capable of writing that album and if they can release one full of tracks like this best ones on this effort, there is no denying that they could go on to do anything they want.
For Fans Of: Killswitch Engage, Bury Tomorrow
Choice Cuts: Gloom, Sailor’s Prayer, 8:18