It is no secret that Ohio based The Devil Wears Prada are an un-matched force live. They can turn any room into a vortex of swirling bodies and screeched lyrics, and this live album encapsulates that raw energy, albeit with a few minor setbacks.
The album itself opens with the title hit from the top ten charting album Dead Throne, slowly building up with heart pumping drums before storming into a full metal assault. Mike Hranica’s piercing and powerful voice hurl the lyrics into your brain and this is carried by beautiful but brutal guitars. Meanwhile another hit from this album Born to Lose showcases the crowd screeching for more over a demonic introduction. It then turns to showcase a newer, slightly more metal but less mental sound, which will no doubt attract a new audience whilst still keeping hardcore fans happy with its harder side.
Older single and personal favourite Dez Moines showcases two contrasting sides to the band. It shows a their more technical side with Hranica’s voice melodic and harmonious in parts. Meanwhile Chris Rubey plays lead guitar flawlessly and separates the song between the calm and the storm excellently, whilst drummer Daniel Williams ferociously pounds at his drum making the song soar to new heights.
From concept E.P Zombie, Outnumbered showcases just how heavy the band can go, switching from a chilling horror radio broadcast, to melt your face off guitars. Whilst bassist Andy Tick is audible for a change as the band storm into what is arguably one of their best releases. Hey John, What’s Your Name Again? & Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over maintain a similar effect but take this heavy energy and channel it with slower moments, though not as meticulously executed as in Dez Moines, parts feeling jaunty and at times inaudible.
The DVD accompaniment with this album shows the sheer energy and maniacal tendencies of a Devil Wears Prada show, though the sound quality is awful. The vocals are almost unbearable to listen to, hard to make out and sounding tired. This date in Chicago was one of the last on their touring of Dead Throne and goes some way to show how tired and worn out the band must have been. In turn it leads me only to conclude this was definitely not the show this DVD footage should have been taken at. Despite this, the band give a brilliant performance, showcasing years of experience and a sheer love for what they do. This is a great compilation showing the span of their career and how much they have changed along the way.