August 2010, it had been a glorious summer, but with the gradual run up into autumn we were met with showers and cool temperatures. The scene was set up for a perfect pathetic fallacy moment. Then, The Devil Wears Prada drops their most infamous EP, Zombie. The brutal and ruthless EP, which charted the descent into the chaos and brutality of a zombie apocalypse. Eleven years later and a world devastating pandemic, the band are giving us an eagerly anticipated sequel to this iconic EP.
Whereas the first Zombie EP was about how to fend off the apocalypse, its sequel is much more bleak. Like it’s predecessor, Zombie II carries on with the brutally heavy riffs and harrowing concept but now it feels like we are one of the lone survivors of this particular apocalypse. With that in mind there is a deeply embedded hopelessness that comes with overwhelmed by the horde. The emotional chorus in ‘Forlorn’ sums this up perfectly as it highlights the continually diminishing supplies of the survivors. The significant emotional weight that the EP carries through its use of mournful and doleful melodies, taps into the primal fear of being left alone in a world consumed by the undead, eeking out a survival whilst in perpetual panic and anxiety. By capturing these intense emotions so well you can feel the very visceral despair of an apocalypse survivor.
Musically the EP is much more sophisticated and the performance is tighter than it's canonical forerunner. Fusing more progressive songwriting elements, spacious melodies and diverse dynamics yet still retaining the concepts original aggression and chaotic discordance. Whilst the ingenious sound design and effects are missing from this sequel, the carefully placed synth and electronic noises make up for it by adding an eerie layer underneath the chaotic guitars. Doubling down on the breakdowns and the riffs taking on a contemporary metalcore sound, the band have injected even more sophisticated brutality into this apocalyptic concept. In regards to this, some will find parts of this easily comparable to the group's conceptual Space EP. Yet it still retains a nostalgia hit that will knock you back to 2010, which isn’t a bad thing.
Overall, Zombie II feels like the sequel that Zombie needed. A more mournful yet terrifying scene is planted into your mind. After the chaos died down and the dust settled, we now know the outcome of these survivors through the medium of haunting melody and beefy breakdowns.