Divine Ecstasy - Strange Passions - (7/10)
Published on September 23, 2018
Divine Ecstasy burst onto the scene in early 2018 with an eponymous two track demo. Reeking of leather, sweat and other bodily fluids, the two track demo was a brash statement of liberation by way of somewhat raw, blackened metal. It was a short but powerful thrust, one that made my mouth water when Iron Bonehead announced that they would be releasing a more substantial chunk of material in the form of a six track, nearly twenty-five minute EP titled Strange Passions.
Much like their demo, Strange Passions sees the band fire away with roughshod, buzzsaw riffing and rasping, tortured growls. The percussion is a bit odd, utilizing what sounds like raucous swing beats at times, while still delving into the typical blasting fodder, yet the handwork sounds strangely upbeat. As weird as that sounds, it fits quite nicely with the shifting tremolo riffing and underlying bass patterns. The overall sound is basically treble heavy tremolo-based black metal. It’s raw in scope, yet it’s quite listenable despite the abrasiveness.
While Strange Passions delivers a similar musical approach as used on their demo, it seems less liberating and far less intimate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a pretty good chunk of traditional black metal, it’s just not everything that the demo had promised. It’s not quite as depraved and it’s not quite as striking. It feels more like the band is going through the motions; so it’s a good thing these guys understand how black metal should sound. It’s a bit clinical and lacks the passion that oozed from their earliest work. Regardless, this should still receive the occasional playthrough; it’s just not an essential listen at this point.