Dear Love

No, I’m not talking about the movie, or the book. I’m talking about the six Ohioans who make up the band. Far outside the mainstream, this group is widely known by hardcore enthusiasts in the heart of the country. Now signed to Rise Records, the band has released their debut album, “Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord.”

This is a breath of fresh air in the cramped world of metalcore. Many groups have jumped on the bandwagon with the genre’s recent success, copying the likes of As I Lay Dying and offering nothing new. But The Devil Wears Prada rises above and is rewriting all the rules.

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Through a mix of melodic guitar riffs and devastating breakdowns, this is possibly the most well-balanced band in metalcore. Other aspects of their style separate them from the new crop of metalcore bands, too. The Devil has a rare sixth member, keyboardist James Baney.

He adds a new layer and, with guitarists Chris Rubey and Jeremy DePoyster, make the dark music take on an almost epic form.

The lyrics are nothing short of genius, either. A large percentage is Christian-based, another innovative feature for a hardcore band. Most songs are based on themes of strength and perseverance as well as the need for forgiveness in the world. They spread a positive message of hope, something once unheard of in the usually gruesome, bloody lyrics of hardcore music.

The vocals may seem overshadowed by these other components but are not to be forgotten. The contrast between the almost grindcore screaming and screamo singing is perfect. Songs like “Texas is South” and “Modify the Pronunciation” are ideal examples of this style. The menacing, fast-paced growls of lead vocalist Mike Hranica mix seamlessly with DePoyster’s backup singing.

All these elements combine for a spectacular album, but that isn’t enough to compete with other hardcore bands – live shows are just as imperative to overall success. If possible, the members of The Devil Wears Prada have mastered this too. The high-energy, up-tempo show is probably the best in the business. Their energy keeps the crowd involved and frontman Mike Hranica works wonders controlling the fans.

All things considered, The Devil Wears Prada has quickly become one of the greatest and most innovative metalcore bands of all time. Any fan of the genre simply must pick up their album.

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