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Jesus FUCKING Christ! You know what pisses me off? That people endorse this manufactured trendy horse cock album as genuine heavy metal! The term “poser” gets thrown around a lot these days, often without warrant, simply because some bands that aren’t metal at all are deemed metal by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. The band isn’t trying to be metal, really, so it’s pointless to judge them as such. Bleed the Fifth, on the other hand, is the very definition of false metal and deserves to be incinerated, along with all its fans. Divine Heresy tries their ABSOLUTE HARDEST to be the quintessential metal band, trying to incorporate everything that mainstream metal culture has deemed the “best parts” of metal into their music- but they are a complete failure at this on all counts because they don’t understand WHY these elements of metal have been deemed the best, they just know that they are the best and should therefore be included in their music. Sorry, chaps, it doesn’t work that way.
Since “false metal” technically isn’t a legitimate subgenre, I’m having a lot of difficulty categorizing this one. The riffs embody everything that exists in mainstream metal without sounding like an actual version of any facet of it- there’s lot of chugging, lots of failed attempts at establishing some sort of groove, but most of the time there’s just a lot of baseless riffs that go absolutely nowhere and sound like some kind of bastardization between modern death metal and American melodic death metal, adopting the worst traits of both- the sterile, boring qualities of modern death metal and the wimpy, stagnant qualities of American melodeath- they’re not quite catchy, but they don’t really sound alien, either, they’re more just this safe middle ground of riffing that doesn’t accomplish anything. When you get down to it, though, the riffs themselves aren’t really meant to be paid attention to- rather, they’re more intent of creating the image of something harsh and “metal” instead of doing what they should be doing- having strong melodies, holding interest, and generally just being GOOD. Sounding good isn’t a major concern here- it’s lost in the shuffle on behalf of the image.
This was going to be the paragraph where I talked about the songwriting and composition, but when I listened to the album again I realized it pretty much didn’t fucking exist. Bleed the Fifth just composes the song according to standard rock music verse-chorus-etc. templates, and ONLY by those templates. It doesn’t matter how awkward or forced the song will sound if they follow it- they’ll do anything to keep the song in that format because why the fuck should they contribute anything worthwhile to the scene? At the very least, they managed to keep it so that you don’t really notice how much they’re struggling to fit the songs in, but there’s a few instances, such as the song “Impossible is Nothing” where they just kinda stopped caring about whether or not it sounded cohesive and made one of the most AWKWARD transitions from a “uber-intense” verse to a chorus (chock full of way-too-syrupy crooning) I’ve ever heard. They really don’t give a shit if the song sounds like a fucking mess- they just need to get their hooks in so their label won’t get mad at them for not being accessible enough.
My god, they’re just trying way too hard. Everything’s thrown in your face right from the get-go- never before have I heard a band sound so incredibly obvious about what they’re trying to do. There’s plenty of what I think is a failed attempt at aggression on here- driven mainly by the not-quite-hardcore-shouts-but-not-quite-metal-growls-either vocals of the doucher singer here- combined with the lyrics that have the occasional “fuck” thrown here and there (to sound “offensive”) and have an anti-human agenda…I think? Maybe anti-religious? Anti-political? I can’t tell who they’re trying to attack in these lyrics because more often than not they can get really goddamn vague- I mean, they clearly don’t want anybody to actually get angry at their lyrics, they just want them to resemble some sort of attack on some sort of enemy that they don’t really specify- I mean, it’s pretty easy to relate to, but results in lyrics that are in the end, thin and meaningless.
The vocals are pretty annoying on their own, especially because they’re right up front constantly (because they’re REALLY FUCKING PISSED OFF, I guess) but the drumming is what drops this album from “annoying and poseurish” to “horrendous and unlistenable”. Holy fucking fuck, I understand the guy’s fairly talented and all, I mean, he can play pretty fast and whatnot, but he has absolutely no feel for the music whatsoever and just kind goes off in his own little clickity-clickity-click land all the fucking time. Double-bass drumming seems to be a component of metal that draws a lot of kids in (talk with a few 15-year olds who worship The Black Dahlia Murder and you’ll see what I mean, all they give a shit about is how fast the double-bass is) so Divine Heresy decided to take advantage of this and use it ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Doesn’t matter if it fits the moment anything, they already threw songwriting out the window a long time ago, so they might as well throw away any pretense of actually giving a shit about something like replay value or listenability or anything other than cashing in on their worthless gimmicks.
Oh, but that’s not all folks! This album goes even further down the rabbit hole! I struggled to get through this album the first time, because the further it goes on the more it just sounds like a senseless mishmash of riffs that do nothing and go nowhere over the sound of somebody hammering away on a typewriter- but it was the final song on this album that REALLY dropped my jaw. I’m not kidding, either- I just sat there with an expression of shock and horror the first time I heard this…ballad. Yeah, it’s a fucking ballad. It doesn’t even try to be discreet or anything either, like those slower songs Dark Funeral did or that one song by Non Serviam- it’s their vocalist doing melodramatic clean vocals over a few generic chords. Trust me; I’m not making this shit up. If you disagreed with me about the whole “false metal” shtick until now, it’s kind of hard to at this point. It doesn’t even serve any purpose to the album from a neutral perspective! It doesn’t really close the album off effectively; it doesn’t fit in any way with the rest of the album- it’s pretty obvious they just tacked it on at the end in a shitty half-assed attempt to “branch out” or some bullshit like that. Or the label told them to write a ballad. Whatever it is, it’s fucking horrible.
Why do people take this band seriously again? Is it because Dino Cazares is in the band? Whatever, Fear Factory never really blew the doors down for me anyways and the musical talent he DID show in that band is all for naught at this point, because he clearly isn’t using it here. If that’s the best argument someone can come up with for Divine Heresy being legitimate, that’s pretty sad. This is the most blitheringly awful thing I’ve heard in a long time- if not for the music, for the implications of it all. All this album is to me is an amalgamation of everything that is wrong with metal today. Pop, rap, and all the supposed “enemies of metal” do extremely minimal damage to the genre at the very best- it’s albums like THIS that are genuinely a plague upon metal and should be eradicated at every turn. Death to Divine Heresy, death to Bleed the Fifth, and DEATH TO FALSE METAL!