Review Summary: Scent of Divine Blood is a razor sharp album that fuses together disparate elements from Fearscape's previous work into one full-bodied sound.Scent of Divine Blood
is the sophomore offering from Australian progressive metal band Fearscape. The album displays significant growth from their Rowe productions debut. At a lean 43 minutes, Scent of Divine Blood
is a razor sharp album that fuses together disparate elements from their previous work into one full-bodied sound. Where their debut stretched song and album lengths to the limit, and kept their metal and ‘everything else’ separate, this album sounds like a true fusion of their ideas.
Although the album begins (and ends) with some finger picked acoustic guitar, the album rarely breaks into interludes or drawn-out passages. Once the first track erupts, the album is full steam ahead for the first half of its runtime. The aggression is broken up instead by the guitar work changing in intensity. Fearscape shows a very progressive metal appreciation for melodic guitar leads, especially near the end of songs. Scent of Divine Blood
brings back the clean vocals (in addition to the more prominent shrieks) from the debut, but this time they serve a more atmospheric purpose. With the exception of the chorus in ‘Falls of Crimson Free’, the clean vocals are more about adding contrast (many are indecipherable).
The songs themselves range in length from 5 to 10 minutes and virtually never wear out their welcome. Although the structures are progressive at times, the album is not without its share of memorable refrains. Verses are frequently repeated, usually leading to a cathartic finale and exiting with a solo or winding down to an acoustic conclusion. However, given the small number of vocal tracks here (five), there isn't time for repetition to wear thin. Scent of Divine Blood
focuses on song craft before technicality, but the band doesn’t slouch, either. Since the album as is concise as it is, the riffs and melodies are consistently high quality. The band also makes a good use of bass. When the guitars pause to take a mental break, the bass drives the train with melodies of its own. The tasteful mix of instruments, speeds, and moods is what really makes the album come together.
There are remnants of black metal influence on this album, but they are generally fleeting. The middle section of the album contains more, but overall Fearscape have crafted a very competent progressive metal album that deftly corrects the flaws of their debut LP. If there is one mis-step on Scent of Divine Blood
, it has nothing to do with the sounds that are here, but the ones that aren’t. The instrumental finale begins as a stirring conclusion, but