Divinity
The Immortalist


3.0
good

Review

by XfingTheSullen USER (54 Reviews)
May 27th, 2017 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like a lion with no teeth - easier to approach maybe, but loses all its bite.

The Canadian progressive metal scene has always been known for having many surprises. One such forward-thinking band is Divinity, whose two sadly overlooked albums Allegory and The Singularity walked on a thin line between "merely" great, forward thinking metal and plain, flat-out genius. Frantic and chaotic passages executed with surgical precision underlaid by a haunting, synth-driven futuristic atmosphere and insane, screeching vocals with an appropriate dose of clean singing amounted to spectacular effects. That was eight years ago, though. Since then the band has been struggling with financial and label-related difficulties, but enterprising fellows as they are, they found a way to keep on doing what they love. Several years after The Singularity, a crowdfunding campaign was announced to finance the band's next project dubbed The Immortalist, separated into three EPs with four songs each, titled Awestruck, Momentum and Conqueror. The campaign succeeded and two EPs were released on schedule, and now the time has finally come for the project's completion - The Immortalist released as a full album - even before the also expected third autonomous EP, which has yet to get its turn. All the songs from the previous mini-releases were re-recorded to uniformize the sound, and the tracklist was shuffled up to reinforce the feeling of completeness and - in the band's own words - to realize the concept as it was meant to be shown in the first place. So what can be said about The Immortalist?

Divinity's greatest selling point always was their chaotic, intelligent sound full of surprises, difficult to get into and requiring time to fully take in and appreciate. They had songs such as "Plasma" or "Approaching the Singularity", which were so well-written, they would become genre classics if the band got more recognition. Things were looking up, everything seemed like the band was setting themselves up for even more success. But sadly, it's all downhill from there. The Immortalist completely lacks any of the aforementioned qualities. While it's still essentially a good effort and truly pleasant to listen to, the flashes of brilliance from the previous two full releases are virtually absent, as is the chaos and unpredictability. The band continues the futuristic/metaphysical gimmick they've always had going on, but without their signature anarchic yet perfectly calculated sound they have devolved into nothing more than essentially a poor man's Allegaeon. The technicality has been toned down too, in favor of slower and more melodic songs, but even these have been done better by the band in the past (just listen to the song "Methodic"). This whole release is like a lion with no teeth - easier to approach maybe, but loses all its bite. Of course there are some exceptions to this regrettable tameness, such as the song "Distorted Mesh", which is a reflection of the standards this band should be held to in all regards. Another highlight is the track "D.M.T." with none other than Björn Strid of Soilwork singing. It might be him that makes this song so enjoyable, even though it suffers from virtually all the tameness issues I enumerated above. The final highlight is the great song "The Dead Speak From Beyond", first released on the Awestruck EP, but to be fair, this song wasn't written by the guys from Divinity - it's a cover of Pericardium, a project by the tragically passed Rob Doherty of former Into Eternity fame. The song is very gripping in its straightforwardness and contains some of the catchiest riffs on the release.

Vocal-wise, Divinity employ two vocalists. The original singer who's been with the band since the beginning, Sean Jenkins, primarily employs a Townsendesque scream, but can also do deeper growls and has a great singing voice. Jeff Waite joined the band after The Singularity, and seems to have relieved Jenkins of deeper growling duties to great effect, but his raspy clean singing may not be your cup of tea - it sounds rather old fashioned and makes you think of the chubby, beareded papa bear that Jeff is (his nickname "Beast" is rather appropriate). Current trends favor youthful sounding vocalists, so I really wouldn't be surprised if some accusations of being "dad metal" came the band's way because of Jeff. That said, all the vocal performances on the album are at least adequate, and any lack of appreciation would be a matter of taste rather than bad execution.

In summation, The Immortalist is a rather pleasant if unengaging listen with several moments that'll make you stop and think "wow, this part is almost as good as what they used to be", but these unfortunately aren't that numerous. The melodies are prettier than before, the songs are simpler, less heavy, less chaotic and less surprising. It's not bad music by any stretch, but it chould have been so much more. Sad as it might be, this doesn't mean the band don't have it in them to leap back into form with their next one, which I wish them wholeheartedly. In the meantime, I'll be sticking with Allegory and The Singularity, and so should you.



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user ratings (3)
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
May 27th 2017


6006 Comments


Great review, great summary, big ol' pos from me

XfingTheSullen
May 27th 2017


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks! More people should check out this band. Not necessarily this album tho

Evok
May 28th 2017


7745 Comments


Interesting. Is that The Hulk on the album cover?

XfingTheSullen
May 28th 2017


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Looks more like Michaelangelo's David overgrown with moss to me, haha

bloc
May 30th 2017


57880 Comments


Not surprised by the rating, but I am happy to see this review. I played the fuck out of Allegory back in the day. It was was like the most technical thing I had ever heard lol. I gotta jam it again soon, it has been years.

I never quite warmed up to Singularity as much, but it was still not too shabby.

Digging: Sugar Babe - Songs

XfingTheSullen
May 30th 2017


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Come on bruh, "approaching the singularity" is easily like in their top 3 songs. From this album you basically only need to check out distorted mesh and that's it

bloc
May 31st 2017


57880 Comments


I really like how chaotic the first album was. Singularity was a bit more streamlined and melodic which I remember not liking as much. But of course, not listening to this band for like 5+ years could change things lol

Willie
Moderator
June 7th 2017


17867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I don't know. Personally, I really like this album but I've never heard the other two so maybe it helped to come in with no idea what it might sound like.

Digging: Leprous - Pitfalls

bloc
June 7th 2017


57880 Comments


The other two are way better. I just gave The Singularity a listen last week after a looooooong time and it sounded great. I think you will especially like that one.

XfingTheSullen
June 24th 2017


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Shit bro you totally need to listen to those albums, they're really high level shit



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