The Devil Wears Prada are back. If you thought last year’s Zombie EP was heavy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you hear “Born To Lose,” the first track chosen from the yet-to-be-titled album to be showcased to the public. The sextet from Dayton, Ohio have further distinguished themselves from the generally bland and overpopulated metalcore scene with an absolute barnstormer of a track.
“Born To Lose” combines the ferocity from the Zombie EP with the melody and top-level production found on TDWP’s previous full-length albums. The most obvious change within the band’s sound is how much they’ve matured – from the boys playing some really decent metalcore on Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord to the men they have grown up to be, having fine-tuned their sound.
TDWP got rid of the silly song titles for the Zombie EP and on “Born To Lose,” the band serves up one of the most listenable and technically proficient songs they have written throughout their existence as a band. The influence of producer/Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz radiates in every part, with the song being far more focused and its individual elements more well-rounded. Atmospheric elements that might have dragged on a couple of seconds too long on previous releases have been toned down in favour of shorter, more impacting interludes.
The song builds up to a nice little introductory breakdown, leading into some great low growls by lead guitarist Chris Rubey, as he provides the perfect foil for frontman Mike Hranica’s higher pitched screams. Once more, Hranica excels behind the microphone, with his shrill highs and stomach-flipping lows lifting the track from great to marvelous. The lyrical theme of the song revolves around religion, which is a given, considering how open the band are about their faith as Christians. The lyrics aren’t anything to write home about though, reading pretty much as how they were written – no need to cross reference with the bible or dig too deep here.
Guitarist/clean vocalist Jeremy DePoyster makes his vocal contribution with the sung chorus of “You don’t know what you need/We’re all so back and forth, nothing is as it seems/You don’t know what you need/We make the same mistakes, we’ve ruined everything.” I find his clean vocals to be far more listenable on “Born To Lose” than on TDWP’s earlier releases, where his vocals were coated in shoddily applied auto tune. DePoyster may not be as talented a singer as some of his counterparts in the scene but his higher, floatier vocal range serves to complement the utter brutality of the track; it is a job he does well.
DePoyster’s and Rubey’s riffs come in thick and fast throughout the song, without ever falling prey to the lazy, mindless chugging often abused by bands of a lesser make. Daniel Williams’ drum work is phenomenal as usual, as he double pedals and rolls around his kit effortlessly, giving the track some real bite. James Baney’s keys are interesting and blend in with the track well, defining the vibe of the track; furious and unrelenting, yet with an identifiable aura not often found in metalcore.
The sum of all parts of the track is that it is, in essence, what could be TDWP’s most exciting album to date. The band are at the peak of their powers right now and now is the perfect time for them to release what could be their most defining work. Right now, all we can do is wait patiently until September 13th and keep listening to “Born To Lose.”