The Devil Wears Prada
Plagues

I’ll be the first to admit that despite the band moniker the debut from this Christian, synth filled metalcore act Dear Love: A Beatiful Discord, was a surprisingly solid debut album and the follow up, Plagues pretty much continues that trend but with a caveat.

I’ll also admit that I hate gimmicky synths, especially in anything ‘core’ based, but TDWP manage to do something different with their synths; rather than opt for full on quirk and random electronica to back their fairly standard, slightly emo take on noisy metalcore, they use them much the same way a black metal band would. That’s to say a more epic, orchestral and somber backdrop to the alternating melodic thrashing and pretty heavy breakdowns.

Still though while TDWP often come across as an As I Lay Dying meets As Cities Burn meets Chiodos sort of act –the truth is their heavy use of orchestral synths and often devastatingly heavy breakdowns, make them a more interesting and heavier act. And truthfully when the band is emo free and delivering one of their stout rumbles (“What’s Your Name Again?”, “Don’t Dink and Drance”) it’s on par when any of the heavier deathcore acts around today.

On the downside though, the clean vocals pretty much sap any enjoyment from me. They are completely emo/whiny and in line with any number of Victory’s tripe pop/emo acts, and often ruin a good orchestral segue or thunderous groove. Even with the standard raspy screams and deep growls, the clean vocals just absolutely turn me off as soon as they start in each of the 10 songs.

And that’s a shame because musically Plagues has some pretty cool moments of grace lined heft and dramatic girth (“You Can’t Spell Crap Without ‘C’”, “This Song is Called”), but it all just seems to be for naught when the Fall Out Boy/ Taking Back Sunday whining begins (Just listen to Darkest Hour, Life in Your Way or As I Lay Dying for clean vocals done right) and ruins some other wise enjoyable and surprisingly heavy metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 9th, 2007

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