The Devil Wears Prada have made very public the corner they are turning to try to convince their peers to do the same to save heavy music. Their concern is borne of a good nature, but the product is a little less straightforward.
Switchblade opens the record in a more familiar way, with discordant, echoed guitar lead and chugging verses behind frontman Mike Hranica's screams. The result is a chaotic audio assault, unrelenting and unforgiving start to finish. Where most albums would be introduced well by the first piece, there really is no right way to start The Act. The following track is Lines of Your Hands, which is a very different beast; more chord-based, there is a wall of sound that keeps the volume high throughout much of the track.
Changing again, Chemical is an anthem against depression in the purest form, feeling the deepest, most vulnerable and isolating emotions and pushing it into lyrics. This is where the sole similarity lies throughout every song - the power of lyricism and vocal performance. Hranica and guitarist/vocalist Jeremy DePoyster have produced such intricately delicate execution of duties, and the future of the band looks bright following this new tack.
It's a jumble of sounds, a mash of ideas and a cocktail of darkness but in The Act, The Devil Wears Prada have managed to epitomise exactly how it feels to be going through rough periods mentally into a beautiful chaos. It's not perfect as an album or pure by anyone's standards, but it will cement its place as a phenomenal piece of raw, unadulterated catharsis.