Divine Heresy
Bringer of Plagues


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 28th, 2009 | 147 replies | 19,702 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stronger songwriting is ultimately let down by too much repetition.

On paper, Divine Heresy has a lot of potential. Any band containing ex-members of Fear Factory, Vital Remains and Nile should be great, if not phenomenal – especially considering the fact that this particular band has Dino Cazares on guitar, Tim Yeung on Drums and Joe Payne on bass. Instead, their debut album turned out to be two-dimensional and mindless. It suffered from poor songwriting, redundant riffs and a general lack of focus. Due to this, when word got out that the band would be returning with their sophomore album and a new vocalist, the question that had to be asked was whether or not they would finally fulfill their potential. The answer turns out to be an easy “no”, but they’ve at least taken a few steps in the right direction.

The main step is the inclusion of a new vocalist, Travis Neal. Travis still delivers his lyrics in a hoarse, hardcore shout (albeit a bit higher pitched than his predecessor) but his clean vocals fit the music a lot better. The band’s previous vocalist could definitely sing but his voice always seemed better suited for a top-40s metal band. This issue resulted in quite a few choruses that felt out of place on the debut, but that isn’t a problem this time. Travis’ clean vocals contain enough of a gritty edge to allow for catchy choruses that also meld seamlessly with the crushing musical onslaught. In addition to his clean vocals, his shouts and yells are also much more varied and this is an album that needs all of the variation that it can get.

Anyone familiar with Dino’s style of precision, machine-like riffing understands that variation is always in short supply but he does seem to be branching out. The main focus of this album is still the rapid, industrialized riffs that remain locked in with the double bass but there is also the rare surprise. One such surprise is the occasional use of guitar solos which are fairly melodic without any needless shredding. In fact, interspersed throughout the wall of power chords and double bass is actually an undercurrent of subdued melody that helps differentiate the songs from one another as well as provide a memorable nuance. On “Letter to Mother” that melodic edge gets moved to the forefront with a few quick guitar harmonies that lend the song an additional distinction missing from the rest of the album. The other unique song is the power ballad, “Darkness Embedded”, which alternates between mellow verses and harder choruses. The true shocker is that unlike most of Dino’s past attempts at mellow songs, this one isn’t boring.

Despite a few distinctive songs, a stronger vocalist and better songwriting this album ultimately suffers from too much of the same thing. The band’s lack of true variation leads to an album that doesn’t really have a lot of long-term potential as it begins to grow old after only a few listens. The end result is an album that can only be taken in small doses without feeling stale. Within those small doses, though, are songs that simply crush with a wall of strong riffs locked in with unrelenting double bass, and accentuated by memorable choruses and an undercurrent of melody. Unfortunately with Dino making an attempt to regain the Fear Factory moniker, we may never get to see a third album that continues to build on the band’s strengths but at least they went out strong (if just a little too repetitive).



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user ratings (166)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
The Writer Ov This Review (2.5)
Divine Heresy try to spread their 15 minutes of fame into two full length albums....

Jeremy Bentham (4)
Divine Heresy take a major step up from their debut album and present a 2nd record full of great mel...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2009



15912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Notice the word "metalcore" isn't mentioned in the review. I won't dispute others' opinions, but this isn't metalcore IMO.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009



20856 Comments


I presume you classify it as straight-up metal then Trey?

Happy 150th you reviewing machine.

Yazz_Flute
July 28th 2009



18770 Comments


Their drummer is such a beast.

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2009



15912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's still basically the same industrialized metal he played on Fear Factory's Demanufacture with some Soul of a New Machine death metal influence and a modernized sound.

The drummer is a beast on the double bass, but the rest of his playing is kind of average for some reason.

BassDemon333
July 28th 2009



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like his drumming...its crazy and its part of what makes this band. Haha....I still remember the days when I thought there was "no better drummer than joey jordison"....

Digging: Mudvayne - L.D. 50

R6Rider
July 28th 2009



4580 Comments


nice review trey, flows nicely

The rating itself is no suprise


Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - How Hate is Hard to Define

Unskathed123
July 29th 2009



368 Comments


Sounds like All That Remains except not ruined by Phil Labonte or cliche pop chord progressions.

ninjuice
July 29th 2009



6760 Comments


Sounds like All That Remains except not ruined by Phil Labonte

Oh please please please tell me you've only heard Overcome.

LisbonGirls
July 29th 2009



832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice work on the review Trey
Overcome isn't even that bad.

LisbonGirls
July 29th 2009



832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry double post D:

beans
July 29th 2009



2332 Comments


nice review we got here. i liked their first album so i might give this a listen, the new vocalist did sound good from what i can recall.

im sure the repetitiveness is no joke though, first album did it well, this im sure is about the same

BassDemon333
July 29th 2009



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bunit, if you liked their first album then you will enjoy this too. New vocalist is just as good if not better.

raggedragamuffin
July 29th 2009



689 Comments


nice review. i'll probably check this out. what are the strongest songs on the album?

zuzek
July 29th 2009



750 Comments


Good review. Feel the exact opposite about the new vocalist though (in my opinion one of the worst I've heard), so I'll probably avoid this like explosive diarrhea on toast.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2009



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nice review Trey, probably will not be checking this out though, seems kind of unimpressive and by your description, I would absolutely hate the vocalist

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009



15912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The rating itself is no suprise
Why is that?
stronger song writing does not include being repetitive
explain yourself
"Stronger" is a relative term that only means something when it is used to compare two things. In this case the two things being compared are this album and the debut. This album has stronger songwriting than the debut, but it is still too repetitive.
i'll probably check this out. what are the strongest songs on the album?
"Letter to Mother" for sure. "Monolithic Doomsday Devices" and "The End Begins". Really, though, if you can listen to any two songs from this and enjoy it than you would probably enjoy the entire album (the opposite is also true).

accompliceofmydeath
July 29th 2009



4200 Comments


Sounds boring.

Digging: Devo - Freedom of Choice

trilogique
July 29th 2009



246 Comments


Good review, but I don't really agree that it's repetitive. Only the last few songs are.

Best songs, to me, would be Facebreaker, Anarchaos and Monolithic Doomsday Devices. Which is why I gave it a 3.5.

LisbonGirls
July 29th 2009



832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have an unnatural love for metalcore so it's no surprise i like this. I'm really enjoying the vocals.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009



15912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have an unnatural love for metalcore so it's no surprise i like this.
I'm sure that fighting this will be as pointless as arguing with the people that call Spineshank nu-metal, but... this isn't really metalcore ;)



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