Astronaut Miranda Priestly
Christian-metalcore rockers The Devil Wears Prada found a way to cope with the departure of founding guitarist, Chris Rubey: scratch together a quick EP and tease it out to fans, song by song. They first released “Supernova” in June, followed by “Alien” in August, giving fans a taste of the next phase of TDWP. For better or for worse, this new EP, Space, does not veer from the sound of the band’s previous albums. Whether that’s welcoming or tiring is for the fans to decide.
Space opens with “Planet A,” introducing a theme with space-shuttle-esque sound effects that gives way to a brief keyboard opening, followed by Mike Hranica’s all-out screaming. We also learn that the album’s story has a protagonist; our hero is a woman who decides she wanted to explore the universe, but there was an accident and she alone has survived. She encounters extraterrestrial monsters in “Alien,” which features a breakneck speed and catchy chorus. “Moongod” begins with ominous sound effects, and provides some of the musical highlights of the album with well-composed synths and chopping guitars.
“Supernova” shows how the melodic capabilities of TDWP, when mixed with scratching riffs, can be a successful combination. The problem is that the screaming and growling appear unnecessary, rote to the point of resignation. TDWP does the “singing” thing so well that they do themselves a disservice with the spitting gut expulsions, and the end result may well be a lack of interest by the listener. The title of the last song, “An Asteroid Towards Earth,” promises an exciting climax. If you manage to get there, the payoff is worth it, with an build-up that justifies the intensity of the vocals, and eventually devolves into an eerie silence. To their credit, TDWP don’t use this apocalyptic scenario as a way to bring Christ into the story; apparently, he was not invited on this mission.