I’ve always been of the opinion that every album should come with a warning label, and thankfully DIVINITY elected to put their stylistic randomness out in the open for all to see. One look at all of the little pieces of recognizable images shoved together into a distorted and grotesque whole is just the sort of honesty that most of today’s Modern Metal acts ought to be living by, although often this is not the case. Apply the image to the musical content within, and you’ll find that the mishmash of Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal, Neo Thrash, Tech. Death and Progressive ideas that make up this stew of sound are equally as perplexing, if not mildly annoying.
The principle problem here is that there is just too much going on to keep track of. Within the first minute of “Induce” there’s already been a bombardment of different tempos and unrelated riffs. At one instance they sound like they’re going for an INTO ETERNITY sound, and the next they’re lost in CRYPTOPSY land. It’s not quite as random and all over the place as what a current day Deathcore band might put out, but the riff work definitely lacks the level of consistency needed to keep this thing centered and just meanders. The vocals tend towards this somewhat annoying Metalcore sound, attempting to emulate Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL) at times but mostly sounding like a 2nd rate James Malone (ARSIS).
Despite there not being a whole lot of songs on here that flow very smoothly, I have to give the band some credit in the technical department. The lead guitar work on here is very entertaining, especially the one on “Plasma”. The drumming tends to be a little bit too showy, but the sound coming out of the kit is solid and the chops are definitely there. When they decide to stick to one consistent tempo and control how many riff turnarounds they throw out like they do on “Modern Prophecy”, which has a really solid Thrash riff right at the beginning that is brought back a few times, they really sound good. The semi-ballad “The Unending” is a pretty solid homage to INTO ETERNITY, avoids getting too wrapped up in throwing 50 notes per 5 second span, and actually put forward something coherent enough to be followed.
Ultimately this album is just a little too confused to really sink your teeth into, which is the case with a lot of newer Melodic Death bands. There are a lot of really good ideas on here that just get lost between all of the technical nonsense, including some pretty solid Thrash Metal. The guitar solos were really good and don’t need to be changed, but if the band got rid of all those random note fills they throw in and spread out those differing vocal styles a little more through the song they would sound much better. If you like Metalcore influenced Melodic Death then you’ll probably like this along with the 200 other bands milking this style, but if you want something that sounds distinctive, or something that you can really grab onto, look elsewhere. There’s some potential here, but not enough to warrant blowing more than a couple bucks on this.
(Online December 12, 2008)