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For a while everyone just wondered where Dino Cazares had gone to. Of course after the Fear Factory fiasco (the pseudo-breakup if you will) Dino had split and we all waited for him to return in glorious form with a band that would rival Fear Factory in its initial glory. We waited...and we waited. But Dino seemed content in just doing on and off jobs (Roadrunner United comes to mind) and we all just assumed that maybe his return would never really happen.
He has returned to reclaim his throne in the form of Divine Heresy. This time armed with some new tricks up his sleeve and an impressive band to fulfill his vision. "Bleed The Fifth" is an impressive effort on all fronts, not only on Dino's part.
Right from the starting line, Divine Heresy is for the throat combining the industrialized Death Metal sound with a more Classic Metal twist. Dino's guitar parts are both catchy and heavy as he throws in riff after riff of interesting chunk styling. The rhythmatic guitar sections are going to sound very similar to earlier Fear Factory but this time around Dino doesn't hesitate to throw in some melodic leads and face ripping solos. The solos aren't a constant throughout the album but they are a nice contrast to the riffs.
Once again (in pure Dino style) some of the riffs are going to go head to head with the heavy set double bass from skinsman, Tim Yeung. This time Tim has triggered his drums heavily given the music that industrial overtone and even though he may not have originated that sound, he plays it like he did.
And on the most controversial note of "Bleed The Fifth", a relative unknown in the Metal world takes the vocal reigns and, despite giving a stellar performance, still gets flamed by critics and fans alike. Tommy Cummings' hardcore style barking intermixed with some sung choruses may have some listeners turning off the album but it fits the style of the album quite well. He brings a solid energy to the album and carries himself quite well. The single ballad on the album, "Closure", is a nice change of pace for the band and Cummings gives a strong performance. The song could have been placed earlier on the album to break it up but it does give the album a great ending.
It's nice to finally hear Dino back in action and really throwing all his blood, sweat, and tears into Metal once again. Divine Heresy has the heart and soul of a matured band and even if the comparisons to Fear Factory never end, "Bleed the Fifth" is an accomplished andsuccessful debut. I'm already eager to hear more.
Songs to check out: "Failed Creation", "Impossible Is Nothing", "Closure".