The question of progression for the Devil Wears Prada lies not in innovation but refinement, with the vaguely Christian screamo sliding effortlessly toward pure metalcore on their third album, With Roots Above and Branches Below. Such developments are subtle, all a matter of precision both in how the band executes their metallic breakdown and how they swing from bellowed verses to crooned choruses without a hiccup. By now, this is a familiar template for Devil Wears Prada but With Roots sees an intensification of both elements, the heavy riffs almost crushing in their weight, the melodic portions gliding easily even they never ever risk being catchy. This dexterity is impressive although it's a bit exhausting; acoustic guitars and piano are the eyes of the hurricane, a brief respite from the cookie monster screams and digital distortion. DWP's reliance on multi-segmented songs, shuffling through the breakdowns and choruses at will, gives With Roots Above and Branches Below the impression of an elongated suite, one where there's no inherent meaning -- it's hard to follow what's being screamed and songtitles with references to Scientology and The Office don't give much away either (if anything they suggest that the songs aren't really about anything, either) -- apart from the sheer onslaught of sound.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine