Somewhere between their beloved 2010 EP, Zombie, and their last experimental full-length album, The Act, lies The Devil Wears Prada’s latest feat, ZII. The band’s new EP is both a continuation of the apocalyptic story they began in Zombie and a tribute to their growth, highlighting some of TDWP’s finest moments along the way.
Mike Hranica’s narrative vocal delivery — which has grown tremendously in both shape and depth since the story began in Zombie — combined with vivid lyricism shapes the entire body of work into an anchor of loss and reflection. The cinematic approach to songwriting is incredibly visual, and while the EP may not represent another monumental leap for TDWP in itself, it certainly serves up a healthy dose of nostalgia and fictional storytelling that both pays respect to their previous work and resumes the tale fans have held in such high esteem.
The first track picks up right where the Zombie EP left off — lamenting the lonely existence of the last man on earth, fearing the night — and crashes in with urgency as his deepest fear comes to life. From there, the story meanders through grief, pain, urgency, and remembrance, only to reach a confident resolution: that there is no resolution.
In true TDWP fashion, the guitars are metallic without losing any of their punch. The grooves are expressive without relinquishing control over the rhythm. And the riffs sink deep into your gut without losing their intricacy. ZII doesn’t just bring back the sound of its origin story either. From the raw aggression of Dead Throne, the imaginative themes of the Space EP, and the mosh pit energy of Plagues, to the tight and polished delivery of Transit Blues and the full-body weight of The Act, each chapter of the band’s history makes an appearance in some small moment in their latest collection.
For as groundbreaking as the Zombie EP was for The Devil Wears Prada, ZII, while a bleak sequel to the story, is quite a work to be celebrated and quite a force to be rivaled.