Company: Century Media Release: 2009 Genre: Death Reviewer: Chaoslord
Good ol' fashioned death metal
Anyone remember the name Dino Cazares? For those of you that don't he was the man behind the sound of Fear Factory's guitars. He has since moved on to form Divine Heresy and has gone in a different direction from his Fear Factory days.
Divine Heresy is good ol' fashioned death metal. Vocalist Travis Neal debuts, replacing former frontman Tommy Cummings. Neal is joined by Tim Yeung, formerly of Vital Remains fame, Joe Payne formerly of Nile and of course Cazares. Together, this fearsome foursome delivers a nasty, brutal album, laced with galloping riffs, a few solos, blastbeat drumming and clean/death vocals.
Neal showcases his ability to change from clean to death or death to clean throughout many of the albums songs. While he does not sound like Chris Barnes or any other death metal growler, he does bring his own style to the table that meshes very well with the music Cazares and company has created.
Speaking of Cazares, his guitar playing has changed drastically. Cazares is able to showcase his ability on guitar in ways that Fear Factory did not allow him to do. The riffs and solos on this CD are nothing short of kick ass. With Fear Factory, he had his guitar downtuned quite a bit and was doing mostly riffs and lots of effects. While his guitar is still somewhat downtuned, he throws in a solo here and there, showcasing some pretty fancy fretwork.
In addition to the solos, the riffs on Bringer of Plagues are much heavier, faster and nastier than what you would have heard him play on a Fear Factory album. For audio evidence, check out the riff to "Facebreaker", "Bringer of Plagues" and "Enemy Kill".
Yeung and Payne bring up the back end with some heavy blastbeats and bass lines. Production wise, this album is very tight. Former Machine Head member Logan Mader handled the production duties and nailed it. You can hear each instrument without one drowning the other out and Neal's vocals are clear with no overdub or crazy feedback going on.
I have been listening to this CD nonstop since I picked it up and definitely recommend it to anyone that is looking for a good metal album to rock out to. Just don't go in expecting a Nile or Cannibal Corpse release because that is not the style that this band follows. I am very excited to see what lays ahead for this band and wait anxiously for the next album to come out.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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