May 05, 2009 - Ferret
Who saw it coming? Despire their preposterous name and ridiculous song titles (this time out, we get “Big Wiggly Style,” “Lord Xenu” and “Assistant To The Regional Manager”), the Devil Wears Prada have become one of American metal’s brightest lights. On With Roots Above And Branches Below, the post-Botch writhing of their first two albums has been replaced by a genuinely epic songwriting sensibility that includes beautifully sung choruses and a tasteful use of keyboards that Dimmu Borgir and HammerFall would envy. The album has no dead spots; it’s one crushing melodic death-metal riff after another, with Mike Hranica’s raw-throated bellows perfectly offset by Jeremy DePoyster’s almost power-metal choruses. The tracks flow together somewhat, but that’s more the result of consistent awesomeness than a dearth of unique compositional ideas. TDWP are firing on all cylinders, and this album is ferocious.