The Devil Wears Prada appear to have come of age. For their sixth outing, the Christian rockers have left behind the world of Sci-Fi and horror and focused their attentions on more humanistic qualities. Inspired by frontman Mike Hranica’s love for literature, Transit Blues has a very clear agenda to take the listener on a bleak emotional journey via all the gruesome trappings of life; from suicide to gun culture. All very grown up, and very self-aware.
With a sinister metallic crack of the drumsticks, the band unleash their first bookish reference as Hranica yells ' “I heard the Sound,” the shout proclaimed.' Just like the themes of Faulkner's novel, The Sound and the Fury, the album follows themes of time, order, chaos, transition, death and resurrection.
The intermittent melodies of Worldwide are the closest the thing to upbeat radio 'pop' that this downcast album gets. Based on a drunken episode in Tokyo, the track carries an obvious sense of happy nostalgia for the band, but this heady feeling is short lived. The desperation in Lock & Load and the morose overtones of The Condition are more than palpable, staying with you long after the tracks fade. Home For Grave Pt 2 picks up the story from a track on 8.18. This metalcore 'poem' contains more clean vocals and spoken word and gives closure to the characters the band created on their previous studio album.
The hostile tones of Detroit Tapes and Submersion contain the most obvious use of electro elements. The added atmospherics of these tracks hark back to the band's earlier work which helps broaden the album's sound and offers some continuity.
The title track is a kicking and screaming descent into the madness of the modern world, and an attempt to find and rebuild oneself again in. 'You can’t feel the transit blues without losing something you thought was true...every day I do my best to keep it together.’ It's a fitting bookend to the albums thoughtful and revealing motifs.
The album may be mournful and at times a painful listen, but it's also starkly beautiful in its ability to confront issues which are often pushed aside. Gone are the days of fantastical Zombie holocausts, TDVP has woken up to find that the nightmare was real. As a result, they are now firmly rooted in grim reality and are all the better for it.
Groupie Rating 4/5: