Review Summary: Prog/Tech Death Outfit add new color to a so-called overplayed/over-abused genre.
I am always on the look-out for new and upcoming releases. All the more refreshing are those that seem to stay masked under the slew of other musical powerhouses. What’s even more rewarding is discovering a gem like The Singularity that surpasses the triumphs and so-called home runs of many of its contemporaries. Divinity offer a balanced mix of Melo-Death/Tech Metal/Progressive experimentation that brings a different perspective on a genre that at times seems overplayed and passively trite. While I was completely oblivious to the presence of this band before coming upon this album, I can only assume the larger majority sit at the same juncture.
The opening track presents an ever growing crescendo of down-tuned guitar work that leads to low end growls. Much of these opening sequences can be easily portrayed as a Meshuggah-esque delivery and the vocal lines above all things help solidify this comparison. Whether you treat this as a negative or positive aspect, the album simply builds off this preliminary segment and never attempts to clone itself from the aforementioned.
The synthesizer opening for ‘Beg To Consume’ is the only moment that had me slightly turned off. Much of this brought on the sour taste of nu-metal-resemblance and would snuggly fit within the mediocre confines of any band you can muster associated with this dreaded tag. Regardless, this rendezvous is short lived as the song progresses comfortably into ‘Lay In The Bed You Make’ and ‘Emergent’ offering melodic hooks and electronic sampling that brings refreshing congruency with an odd mixture of Prog/Tech Death. Dream Theater
worshippers will nod their heads in approval as guitar lines harmoniously bounce up and down along the clean chorus lines of vocalist Sean Jenkins. ‘Emergent’ establishes a heavier manifestation of sound as the drums and bass abruptly pound the listener from the get-go. Lyrical lines are another high point for this song, calling upon the theme of The Zeitgeist Movement and the rejuvenation of seeking a higher form of living. “To be wrong is to be enlightened by greater knowledge.” What’s refreshing about this addition is seeing the bands ability to blend both thought-provoking lyrics while maintaining a heavier side to their musical compositions. I can’t count the number of bands that are apt to tackling darker subject matter in their lyrical approach and, in a certain respect; this can pinpoint one reason why the Death Metal genre can feel hackneyed and cliché with the volume of lackluster efforts hitting the scene. Divinity demonstrates a keen ability with building on multiple facets when crafting their songs. Gojira
can have the same approach but unlike these French metallers, Divinity bring forth much more variety and correctly conclude certain passages without monotonous overplay. And of course, all of these elements are beautifully polished with rich production value, which surprisingly enough was handled by the band themselves.
‘Transformation’ and ‘Monsters Are Real’ are both crushing tracks featuring some gut-punching riffing/breakdowns along with electronic samplings that would have Born of Osiris
and The Faceless
cowering in shame. My only real quarrel with these segments is the clean vocal lines in ‘Transformation’ which sound a little more out of place in comparison to those in ‘Lay In The Bed You Make.’ Still, it’s not enough to completely deter me from revisiting these songs on multiple listens. ‘Embrace the Uncertain’ is what really won me over. Recalling a prior evening, a friend of mine began playing the harmonious piano intro to this track and was the main reason I decided to dig up this album. This added tidbit is yet another hidden prize in the album as the soft melody queues in some quick guitar riffing and electronic meanderings while vocal lines display varied harmonics from growls to cleans.
Most will either love the formula that is The Singularity and others will write it off as another redundancy that most tech death bands have been regurgitating; uninspired and tired. Still, once one peels back the layers they are guaranteed to discover something special here. Whether they are breaking new ground or just retreading on beaten soil, Divinity deserve your attention, even if they are Canadian.