A few humble writers’ opinions on the best sounds and compositions of the year.
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In case you were having a good day, we made you a playlist to mess that up. We’ve assembled a list of ten songs to compliment those rainy April days, or for whenever you’re just feeling plain sad. (Which, given our target demographic, is probably decently often.) Check out these emotional tunes and don’t forget to smile! Or cry. Whichever.
We did a lot in 2015. We photographed acts like Sworn In, The Plot In You, and Defeater and ranted to you about what we thought were some of the most fantastic records and some of the biggest flops. We got to chat with local bands and big names alike, from hanging out with Zoumé at punk landmarks on St. Marks Place to chatting with Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada backstage at Mayhem Fest. Not only have we worked hard and had a lot of fun, but we’ve gotten the opportunity to see some amazing shows and meet inspiring people. After all that, we closed the year not only by giving you our Top 10 HXC Approved Albums of the year, but we also attended NYC-based metalcore band Surfacing‘s album release show at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Check out some photos from the band’s set after the jump, and be sure to check out their debut record, Chaos Through Clarity.
In no particular order, here are the HXC Magazine staff’s favorite records from 2015!
New tours are being announced left and right now that the summer festival season is over, and we’re excited for all of them! Freshly announced this week are:
The 25th Hour Tour with Terror, Code Orange, Take Offense and Malfunction.
The Apollo X Tour with The Devil Wears Prada, Motionless In White, Upon A Burning Body, The Word Alive and The Color Morale.
The Younger Dreams Tour with Our Last Night, Palisades, Hail The Sun and Picturesque.
Will we be seeing you at any of these shows? Let us know!
Struck by the success of their 2010 Zombie EP, The Devil Wears Prada have returned to the short format with another themed work. This time around it’s the Space EP, and it’s their signature heaviness reinvented and deepened; their most sophisticated release yet. From the first 45 seconds of astronaut radio chatter in opener “Planet A” to the swirling, definitive end of final track “Asteroid,” the band stick to their theme exceedingly well, recreating the vast expanse and boggling implications of space within the strict boundaries of six songs.
With the launch of (or rather, toward) “Planet A,” we experience profound curiosity and longing (“Mankind searched the universe/Curiosity can be a curse”), while “Alien” is the rager fans of old expect from this band. The song is threaded with the sound effects of a sci-fi mission (mechanical bleepings, artillery fire) without sounding too campy, and the lyrics are appropriately vicious and dark. This one shuts down all possibility of escape with chugging verses and racing choruses, finally stating, “Game over/We are done for.”
The EP moves in a more emotional direction with “Moongod,” a troubled, humbling display of worship for a divine being. Vocalist Mike Hranica cries, “Watch over me/Inspect my mistakes/Like a beacon, necessitate my regret.” The song transitions into the interlude of “Celestial Mechanics,” which is exactly what the title sounds like–more sci-fi sounds and chatter mixed with atmospheric guitars. A necessary breath, but world-building.
The EP’s first single, “Supernova,” is the clear anchor. The very tangible concerns in this one combined with the solid riffing hold down the loftier parts of the EP. The familiar, heart-wrenching question we all know repeats again and again: “Where will you go? Where will you be?/When you forever sleep, when you leave me.”
Though picking a favorite song from the Space EP may be difficult, picking a favorite moment is simple. When “Asteroid” slows to a crawl for Hranica’s talk-screaming, it’s a turn that will stop you dead in your tracks: “Think of best friends/Think of strangers/Think of lovers/Think of foes/Think of children/Think of family/Keep in mind that nothing stays.” The candid words build, chanting carries on in the background, and the standout vocals become more desperate. Sound is complexly layered until it all just ends.
The Devil Wears Prada’s newest release is contemplative, heavy, and well-crafted, lending to the very real sense of life and death. Surely, if the Zombie EP solidified the band’s domain on terra firma, the Space EP catapults them well past the stars.
You never really know what to expect when you walk into an interview. Whatever your expectations may be, however, I doubt you would expect to walk in on your interviewee casually reading a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel that would seriously hurt if someone decided to use it as a weapon. Meet Mike Hranica, vocalist of the well-known metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada, and avid consumer of Russian literature.
But intimidating books are not all he talks about. In this interview with Hranica at the Holmdel, NJ date of Mayhem Fest 2015, we discuss the band’s upcoming Space EP and why the Zombie EP remains so important, starting out in skate parks, and, if you’ve ever wondered what TDWP would look like as comic book characters, you may not be wondering for long…
Holding their own on the Victory Records Stage, Code Orange brought out the inner-mosh in all who watched. From their brutal, overlaid unclean vocals to their energetic stage presence, Code Orange proved that they are no longer kids and can hold their own at festival as tried and true as Mayhem.
Though the pavilion seating arrangement made for an awkward main stage dynamic, TDWP did not hold back. Blaring fan favorites from “Outnumbered” to “Danger: Wildman,” the metalcore heavyweights even made sure to showcase their new single “Supernova” from their upcoming Space EP.
Check out the live photos in the gallery below from their Mayhem performance at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center.
All photos of Code Orange by Mascot Van Duser.
All photos of The Devil Wears Prada by Taylor Markarian.
The Devil Wears Prada have returned to Rise Records to release their upcoming EP, Space. The Space EP will be available August 21st and the preorder is available now. On the record is the new single “Supernova,” which you can stream below and which follows their last standalone single, “South Of The City.”
Where do you think the band’s sound is headed? How do you think it will compared to their famed Zombie EP? Let us know, and catch them on Warped this summer!