by: The Devil Wears Prada

The biblical verse "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" inspired the album title of the Devil Wears Prada's 8:18, and in that spirit, the lyrical content onboard is filled with hope, even though it comes from a very bleak place. Mike Hranica’s voice is relentlessly brutal, as he delivers a death wail over the Dayton, Ohio, faith-based, metalcore act's adventurous, technical shredding. Hard dynamic shifts between promise and anguish are often heard in Christian metal (see the work of Underoath or As I Lay Dying), and Jeremy DePoyster's clean vocals offer a nice counterpoint to the gut-punches delivered by Hranica. Hard signature changes and manic riffs keep things creative and challenging, while monstrous choruses anchor the songs to make them feel more visceral and accomplished than prior outings. Even though the band's fifth album comes after last year's split with keyboardist James Baney, it isn't purely a guitar-oriented affair. New keyboardist Jonathan Gering adjusts accordingly, and makes his presence felt in a number of sinister, ambient moments; most notably the industrial-flavored "Care More," a mechanical single that mirrors Nine Inch Nails before it reverts to a blistering inferno of guitar crunch and screaming. Executive producer Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage and producer/engineer Matt Goldman (Underoath, the Chariot) take their fair share of chances, but their studio embellishments add weight to the extreme breakdowns, rather than water them down. When the Devil Wears Prada strays from the typical modern metal formula with progressive ideas, the results are almost always favorable, and 8:18 finds the sextet at their most provocative and heavy. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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