Album Review
The Devil Wears Prada - With Roots Above... Album Cover

The Devil Wears Prada - With Roots Above...

Reviewed by
The Devil Wears PradaWith Roots Above and Branches Below
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Record Label: Ferret
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
At the end of 2008, I predicted that The Devil Wears Prada would be one of the next big things of 2009. Their second record for Rise, 2007's Plagues, was a solid album – good instrumentation and vocals – but it was easy to hear that the band had barely scraped the top of their potential. After my first listen of their Ferret Music debut, With Roots Above and Branches Below, I can safely say that my prediction was spot-on. Vocalist Mike Hranica promised that the new record would be heavier and darker, and it's all that and more, as this is also more melodic than its predecessor.

Produced by Joey Sturgis (Before Their Eyes, Emarosa), the eleven-track throwdown features a wide array of power chords, metal riffs, and jarring breakdowns. Hrancia's also screams "heavier," unleashing his barks in a lower register. Also, James Baney really shines on the keys, while drummer Daniel Williams controls the pacing. The rhythm section of Williams and bassist Andy Trick provide the backbone to "Sassafras," in which Hranica rips it on vocals, while guitarist/vocalist Jeremy DePoyster brings the melody. The outro transitions perfectly into "I Hate Buffering," which features some fine double bass-drum kicks; the kind two-steppers all over the world dream about.

"Assistant to the Regional Manager" has more sweet riffs (courtesy of Chris Rubey and DePoyster) than Dwight Shrute has beets, while "Dez Moines" shows off one of the catchier choruses on the album. "Danger:Wildman" may prove to be the fan favorite. The low growl of Hranica compliments the music nicely, while DePoyster's clean vocals serve as a nice contrast. Williams' work behind the kit on "Wapakalypse" sets the tone, and Baney's synth plays the role of unsung hero on "Gimme Half."

The band branches out with a piano ballad, "Louder Than Thunder." It's a valiant effort, but the track doesn't do anything for me. Thankfully, With Roots Above ends with the crushing "Lord Xenu," which incorporates more twists and turns than a rollercoaster at King's Island.

Some people may state that the improvement shown on With Roots Above and Branches Below is due to the band improving as musicians. But, really, the band has always been pretty good at their craft. Instead, With Roots Above is a display of better song structures and orchestration, resulting in more dynamic songs. Basically, The Devil Wears Prada came into their own as songwriters with this release. While there will still be handfuls of haters, The Devil Wears Prada have created an album that will win them many new fans. It's heavy, it's melodic, it's everything you could possibly want from this genre. The lyrical content and creativity may make or break this album for some folks, but musically, With Roots Above and Branches Below is dynamite. So boom goes the dynamite – The Devil Wears Prada is the next big thing.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Sassafras
2. I Hate Buffering
3. Assistant to the Regional Manager
4. Dez Moines
5. Big Wiggly Style
6. Danger: Wildman
7. Ben Has A Kid
8. Wapakalypse
9. Gimme Half
10. Louder Than Thunder
11. Lord Xenu
Produced by: Joey Sturgis

The Devil Wears Prada is:
Mike Hranica – screaming vocals
Jeremy DePoyster – rhythm guitar, clean vocals
James Baney – synthesizer, keyboards, piano
Andy Trick – bass guitar
Daniel Williams – drums, percussion
Chris Rubey – lead guitar

Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 185
01:11 AM on 05/01/09
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Drew Beringer's Avatar
yes the Devil Wears Prada is one of the my favorite bands. Yes, this album is one of my favorite "heavy" albums of 2009. Yes, I am aware some of you will give me shit, but I don't care, no shame in enjoying this band.
01:18 AM on 05/01/09
I love WCW. Not fuckin' wrestling.
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ninetyFhOURs's Avatar
i'm down with these guys.....they're at least legitimate amongst the scene bands. That's more than can be said for many of them, I feel.

While I still have to listen to the album, I'm going in with mediocre expectations. But I'm certainly not making fun of you, and i'll never make fun of this band. They deserve to be taken seriously.
01:28 AM on 05/01/09
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red8ge's Avatar
This took me a little while to get into, but it's pretty good.
02:25 AM on 05/01/09
You'd be good for me
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fadedmemories's Avatar
I'm actually liking this a whole lot more than I expected.
03:16 AM on 05/01/09
AP.net's Resident Staryu
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Smeee's Avatar
Spot on review. They don't deserve even half the crap they often get here.
04:39 AM on 05/01/09
Pack your fists full of hate
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AntiCult's Avatar
I saw this band live twice and I don't see where the hate is coming from. I respect your opinion that much more now, Drew.
04:54 AM on 05/01/09
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No Avatar Selected
yes the Devil Wears Prada is one of the my favorite bands. Yes, this album is one of my favorite "heavy" albums of 2009. Yes, I am aware some of you will give me shit, but I don't care, no shame in enjoying this band.
Well done for standing up for what you believe in.

This genre, and particularly this band is very hard to get into unless you can decipher the lyrics. I managed to do this with one song - Des Moines and really liked it, and with 20 plays, I could hear the emotion and talent this band has. Assistant To The Regional manager is also decent, but I find the lyrics difficult to hear. The rest of the album has not got enough plays for me to connect to it - I have to buy the physical copy and read the lyrics booklet.
06:13 AM on 05/01/09
We shouldnt have abandoned dreaming
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jtyexists9's Avatar
I have to say this album was a major improvement from the first two albums. I still just can't seem to get into these guys, but they did sound damn good live.
06:41 AM on 05/01/09
Registered Member
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No Avatar Selected
Im pleasantly surprised by this cd.
07:03 AM on 05/01/09
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
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mymusicismylife's Avatar
Alright, I'm even more pumped now. Glad you gave this a fair look when, judging by the member ratings, there are plenty of people who just want to hate on Prada. The Chariot and Prada should definitely satisfy my need for some metal for a while. Then it's just a matter of time until mwY, AOF, and FOT come out with new albums.
07:04 AM on 05/01/09
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ilovebsb's Avatar
Trevor from our last night guest vocals sound so dam good on this. i am so stoked for a new our last night album but on a related note, i was very surprised of how good this album seeing as i wasn't much of a fan of them before hand.
07:07 AM on 05/01/09
the way of the fist.
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thecobrakais's Avatar
grizzly bears and helicopters. how the hell can anyone enjoy this?
07:09 AM on 05/01/09
Cody Nelson
FightHaver (Fast Drive)
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Cody Nelson's Avatar
Never been a screamo guy, but kudos to Drew for standing up for these guys, when everyone else is too busy trying to tear them the fuck apart. Nothing wrong with liking a band you like.
07:10 AM on 05/01/09
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
I hate saying this because it comes across like "oh you just like their older stuff" but I really only enjoyed a few tracks on this album. It just didnt catch my attention and draw me in like their previous albums did

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