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Devil Wears Prada, The - With Roots Above and Branches... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.5
Production 9.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Final Verdict: 85%
Member Ratings
Vocals 6.22
Musicianship 6.28
Lyrics 5.81
Production 6.47
Creativity 6.11
Lasting Value 6.14
Reviewer Tilt 5.83
Average: 61%
Inside AP.net

Devil Wears Prada, The - With Roots Above and Branches...

Reviewed by: donwagenblast (05/13/09)
The Devil Wears Prada - With Roots Above and Branches Below
Record Label: Ferret Records
Release Date: May 5, 2009

When TDWP announced they’d be joining Ferret Records, fans knew that the band was on the verge of breaking out of the metalcore scene. Thanks to the band’s outward Christianity and a flair for brutality, TDWP built a legion of dedicated (and more than likely, underaged) fans that put With Roots Above and Branches Below in the Top 20 on the Billboard Albums chart in its first week of sales. Congrats to the band.

Now it’s time to get down to business.

Let me start off by giving my opinion on Christian metal: if you’re going to do it, do it right. Put your faith in the forefront of your live show, your lifestyle, and your albums concepts. However, the hints at religion should be a little subtle, so that you don’t scare away fans of other religions, but allow them to find deeper meaning in their own lives by finding their own interpretation of the lyrics. The band itself should also carry themselves with a sense of maturity, seeing as their songs are about the very mature concept of religion and faith.

The Devil Wears Prada and I do not share this view.

With lyrics that are littered with references to the Big Guy upstairs (see “Sassafras” and “Assitant to the Regional Manager” for proof), and some that are straight-up hardcore songs drained of most religious references (“Danger: Wildman” and “Gimme Half,” though both are shots at the laziness and obsession with technology and celebrity worship of today’s youth), it’s clear that TDWP are trying to play both sides of the fence: appealing to all fans, the religious and the non-religious, to create an album that older fans can enjoy, and an album that will attract new fans. This is either a creative ploy to gain scene stardom, or a departure from the band’s initial ideals. And, in regards to the seriousness of it, The Devil Wears Prada don’t take themselves too seriously (see: all those ridiculous song titles, not only on Branches, but on all their releases, and their less-than-necessary cover of a rap song that is littered with examples of materialism and drug use, “Still Fly” by Big Timerz), which helps them appear more approachable to their non-religious fans.

Don’t get me wrong, I get why The Devil Wears Prada aren’t as serious as other Christian metal outfits (listen to Underoath, they’ve written the book on how to make this kind of music with excellence). In the end, the fans are the most important thing to a band’s survival. I’m not talking about the MySpace friends or the posts about the band on AP.net either; I’m talking about the fans that will buy merch, go to shows, and tell everyone they know about them. Building this fanbase is vital, but can you compromise your beliefs to gain fans and keep your credibility?

Now that my rant is over, let me say this: this is The Devil Wears Prada’s most excellent release. The vocals turned in by screamer Mike Hranica and Jeremy DePoyster are nothing short of breathtaking at points, and the musicianship of the band has grown by leaps and bounds from the band’s first release (Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord, available on Rise Records). The breakdowns hit hard, the orchestration drives home the message of the band very well, and fans of this band and genre will be pleased with the work turned in by this talented sextet.

The bottom line is this: The Devil Wears Prada have made an excellent metalcore album, but failed to deploy their message in an effective way. The album is a solid release, and easily will be one of the must-owns from 2009 thanks to the wonderful performance of the band, one of the best album covers this reviewer has laid eyes on, and a kick-ass live show to boot.

Recommended If You LikeUnderoath, A Day to Remember, We Came as Romans


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Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12.
09:01 AM on 05/25/09
#2
awakeohsleeper
We never met, you and I
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So this review is basically a rant about lyrical content?
09:28 AM on 05/25/09
#3
saturday_snow_squall
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after reading this review, let me say this.
this was not a review.

the bottom line is this.
the reviewer sounds like a dumbass when going on and on about religiousness for nearly the entire "review".
11:00 AM on 05/25/09
#4
Hainzey X
destiny found.
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yah, not to be an asshole or anything but this didn't feel like much of a review. although i do agree with some of what you said, i think you should focus more on the tracks themselves and the specifics about the songs more then your opinion of the bands image. all that was really discussed ( musicaly ) was vocals and lyrics.

don't give up though. keep writting.
11:10 AM on 05/25/09
#5
donwagenblast
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So this review is basically a rant about lyrical content?

unfortunately, yes :/

yah, not to be an asshole or anything but this didn't feel like much of a review. although i do agree with some of what you said, i think you should focus more on the tracks themselves and the specifics about the songs more then your opinion of the bands image. all that was really discussed ( musicaly ) was vocals and lyrics.

don't give up though. keep writting.

Much appreciated.

after reading this review, let me say this.
this was not a review.

the bottom line is this.
the reviewer sounds like a dumbass when going on and on about religiousness for nearly the entire "review".

Admittedly, I think I went a little overboard.
01:03 PM on 05/25/09
#6
po0ty
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Just because a group is "Christian metal" doesn't mean every song should be about faith. Everything is related in some way; I've found most of their songs to deal with serious topics. Danger: Wildman-for example, no it isn't about faith but it's still a reflection and statement on how people live their lives..still a very Christian concept. Not exactly sure why the name the songs they do either but I'm guessing they don't like labeling things or wanted to do something different.

Like other people said the writing is good but lyrics are only one part of the equation :}
05:56 PM on 05/25/09
#7
saturday_snow_squall
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lol i think the site should have a reviewing award of some sort.
08:11 PM on 05/25/09
#8
Hainzey X
destiny found.
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unfortunately, yes :/



Much appreciated.



Admittedly, I think I went a little overboard.
dont give up man. good work.
12:13 PM on 05/26/09
#9
DollyDagger.
raptor copter.
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I never liked this band.
And this album further strengthens this dislike.
08:42 PM on 05/30/09
Akissforher
City Love
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i agree with most the other comments so far, more a rant than anything, but i certainly see the similarities between them and UO. i also agree that there musicianship is incredible on this album, still in my cd player.

of all the hype for bands like green day tdwp bring out a blinder that most mainstream audiences are simply missing out on, couldnt be more happier when i heard they cracked the top 20 over there in the u.s. can't wait til they tour australia, i'll be there for sure.

i'd still like to see other reviews you write.
06:16 PM on 06/21/09
donwagenblast
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Bumping this thread to wish you all a happy Father's Day and seeing what you think of my new review.
05:23 PM on 08/21/09
fly_guy
End in sight, we must fight
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Quote:
TDWP built a legion of dedicated (and more than likely, underaged) fans

Why did you put this in here? Age doesnt mean anything about how many fans they have.
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