With Roots Above and Branches Below
With Roots Above And Branches Below finds Christian metalcore sextet the Devil Wears Prada lyrically branching out from their faith-based roots and veering toward a darker, heavier sound. “Sassafras” opens with a brutal onslaught of artillery-approximating drums, machine- gun guitar riffs, and feral-sounding vocal tantrums of larynx-destroying screams. It almost sounds like death metal until just after the two minute mark, when a contrastingly crystalline chorus comes in, putting some emo back in the screamo. Where most songs here begin with what is commonly known as Cookie Monster vocals, “Dez Moines” takes the road less traveled by starting with the clean and euphonious inflections of Jeremy DePoyster before Mike Hranica tears into his esophagus with the tortured growls of a man possessed. “Louder Than Thunder” is the token piano ballad that floats beautifully with waltzing rhythms and loads of digital reverb on DePoyster’s soaring melodies — the song would sit perfectly on a soundtrack to a modern film about high school vampires or teen witches.