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The stagnancy which metalcore produces has become easy to lambaste, yet the resilient sextet The Devil Wears Prada does their part to try and inject some freshness into a stale scene. On the act's latest 10-track affair PLAGUES, the Ohio group interjects the standardized onslaught of bass drops and burly breakdowns ("Goats on a Boat"), yet also travel into different realms thanks to the presence of Euro metal keyboards and a varied vocal performance that ranges from melodic to demonic. Pushing the boundaries to come up heavier ("Don't Dink and Drance"), more bludgeoning ("This Song is Called"), but above all, more cohesive ("Number Three. Never Forget"), this squad's tighter songwriting chops and discernibly brawnier output assist The Devil Wears Prada in shedding its maligned association to reach a more mature plateau where bands like Chiodos (whose singer Craig Owens joins in on "You Can't Spell Crap Without the "C"") reside.
- Mike SOS