Review Summary: Divine Heresy take a major step up from their debut album and present a 2nd record full of great melodies, fantastic drumming, heavy riffs, and a new vocalist.
Let’s get right to the point – “Bleed the Fifth” wasn’t an entirely successful record. For Divine Heresy, it was a good record to debut on and it had a few good songs…but it was nothing all that stunning. Dino Cazeres and Tim Yeung prove to be a great team, and that’s something that this band will always have, but they still had a lot to prove. Then vocalist Tommy Vext threw a fit onstage while the band was on tour and got in a 'fight' with the axeman and drummer and was fired soon after, leaving the band searching for a new vocalist and using myspace to try and help this effort. Months later, they announce their new vocalist to be Travis Neal (formerly of Pushed). This proves to be an excellent move on their most recent record, entitled “Bringer of Plagues”.
From every angle, the band’s sound has improved, and this is shown on the opening track and lead single “Facebreaker”. The song gives every member a chance to shine and shows off Neal’s vocal range. He fits the band perfectly and you can tell as the song goes on. His opening screech combined with the fast riffing of Cazeres and Bassist Joe Payne and the relentless drumming onslaught of Yeung show that the band is as heavy as ever but can still maintain a melodic edge as shown by the cleanly sung chorus. He has a great singing voice and it fits the song well when everything is thrown together as a whole. Another standout track is “Monolithic Doomsday Devices”. The whole band puts on an outstanding performance and Cazeres experiments with clean guitar riffs towards the end of the song giving it an eerie feel. The chorus is shouted and gets you singing along with Neal and banging your head ferociously. “Darkness Embedded” is another great track and gives Neal another chance to showcase his clean vocals as it is mostly sung with little screaming present. Cazeres presents more melodic clean riffs in this song and Yeung still slays on his kit.
It seems as though all 4 members decided to take things to the next level and really got their *** together on this album. While vocalist Travis Neal presents his range on the songs present here and makes his debut, the other members do an even better job than they did on the previous record. Guitarist Dino Cazeres is at the top of his game on this album - putting out riffs that are heavy, really ***ing fast, and keep up with Yeung’s drumming. He also uses many clean guitar riffs on this album which offers a bit of variety. Bassist Joe Payne makes his studio debut with Divine Heresy on this album and his performance is much welcomed. On “Bleed the Fifth”; the bass was inaudible and poorly done by Cazeres. Joe takes this part of the band up a notch, making the bass audible at some points and doing a much better job all around. Tim Yeung, known for his breakneck speed and precision, doesn’t disappoint on this record. His fills are amazing and he really knows how to utilize his kit (check out his stunning performance on the title track for an example of this). The band really sound great together and it shows on any song you listen to on this record.
On “Bringer of Plagues”, Divine Heresy step it up in almost every way. They really click as a band on the 12 tracks present here and the addition of Travis Neal seemed to help strengthen their sound and make them a much better band. They might sound like melodic death metal at some points, they might sound like metalcore at some points, but one thing is for certain – they have found and cemented their sound with this album. If you don’t give this album a full listen, give the better tracks a chance. It might just surprise you a bit.