There comes a period of time where nearly every metal band experiments and steps away from the area of music that their fans love. For The Devil Wears Prada, I felt like they started to step away during Dead Throne, phasing into their new career stage completely with the release of 8:18. I liked both of those albums. Dark, gritty, a brand new edge to a band that I had grown with. But something was missing. I felt that the guitars and drums weren’t as edgy or as sharp as they should have been, production-wise.
Then comes Space. I look at the production credits. “Joey Sturgis”. It appears that The Devil Wears Prada have found their missing link. The band worked with Sturgis for a long time, most notably on their third album, With Roots Above and Branches Below. I don’t know what the hell this guy does behind a production board, but he can bring out the strengths of any metal band better than any producer I know of. TDWP are back with the strongest AND darkest release they’ve ever put out.
The six song EP begins with “Planet A”. A radio transmission between an unknown human and what appears to be NASA crackle through the stereo as ambient synth layers reverberate through the air. Much like their Zombie EP, taking on the concept of what I can only describe as a “Walking Dead-like fever dream”, these little sounds and noises provide layer and context to the songs. The song is a blistering example of what the band is able to deliver.
We continue with “Alien”, literally bringing to mind images of the fearsome creature from the Ridley Scott film saga. “Moongod” continues to showcase the band’s powerful musicianship. “Celestial Mechanics” is the only instrumental track, fueled by ambient synths. This provides a break before launching straight into “Supernova”.
The EP, which I believe should have been an album altogether, concludes with “Asteroid”, the darkest song The Devil Wears Prada have ever released. Unlike tracks on the Zombie EP that talk about living in the apocalypse, this track refers to the inception. It makes me wonder if we’re going to get a third EP after this and learn that this is all part of a trilogy, that the stories on these releases are all interconnected. Now that would be badass. Whatever the case, I’m going along for the ride.