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A substantial step up in quality for this band. - 73%

AnalogKid, November 21st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Fireball Records AS

Feed On Your Misery is my first exposure to Norwegian progressive metal band Divided Multitude (who probably shouldn’t need any introduction), and while that nation/genre combination ought to say enough in its own right, the cover art (which, I’m sorry, is just ugly as sin) threw me off the trail for a short while. Being that the band is now putting out its fifth studio album and is signed to Nightmare Records, there must be something going on.

Divided Multitude’s style is that of roaring (sometimes literally), high energy melodic progressive metal that flirts with power metal at times (see the chorus to “2 4 7”). Singer Sindre Antonsen has a voice that reminds me a bit of Ecki Singer (formerly of Silverlane), while his style sounds more akin to that of Nils K. Rue (Pagan’s Mind) or even Robert Stjärnström (Machinae Supremacy) at various points throughout the album. An interesting combination to be sure, but I find Antonsen to be quite a capable singer.

Great supporting key work, from bright, spacey tones to Hammond organ, permeates the album, and is the most often-featured form of instrumentation. In many cases, the guitar work on Feed On Your Misery tends to be almost solely rhythmic. In a sense, I would say that while this album is fairly heavy, it is not terribly dense, and is actually quite easily to digest by progressive metal standards. Take the titular opener (after the instrumental “Esperanto”) for example, which has enough hooks to capture the attention of power metal fans.

Despite being fairly compact and potent, one of my chief complaints (and it’s not a major one) with Feed On You Misery is the lack of real diversity within songs. Many individual tracks are quite repetitious within themselves, despite the level of complexity implied by the “prog” label. My other disappointment is the plodding of the guitars. There’s some great rhythmic support, the occasional effective lead, and some very good solos (see “Scars”) but similar to djent or metalcore (don’t read *too* deeply into that), the guitar is almost a member of the rhythm section for 75% of the album – filling a percussive and rhythmic role and not much else. While this isn’t a great overarching problem, it does become a bit dull during prolonged listens.

On the whole, however, Divided Multitude has created a heavy and engaging album with Feed On Your Misery. I recommend the album to those who enjoy melodic prog, especially with a heavy, modern sound, as well as to those prog/power listeners that are looking for something catchier, yet accessible, on the prog side of that fusion genre. Just don’t let the cover art scare you away (it really is ugly).

Original review written for Black Wind Metal

All-You-Can-Disdain Buffet - 47%

GuntherTheUndying, June 10th, 2013

The most interesting part of "Feed on Your Misery" is its artwork: it's a giant newspaper background with the song titles acting as headlines and some chick sucking blue liquid off her hand, or something boner-inducing like that. "Feed on Your Misery" is Divided Multitude’s forth album since the band's inception in 1995, continuing a legacy of progressive metal that once had secured the group a record deal with the progressive label Sensory Records. I never had any previous exposure to their sound before coming to this, so I was a little taken back by Divided Multitude's lack of ambition. Here, they sound kind of like Dream Theater, Nevermore, and In Flames—exactly what the press release relates the record to. How often are those accurate?—rolled up into a ball of what is the nexus of Divided Multitude.

I guess the only absolute truth about "Feed on your Misery" is that it is what it is. And what is it? Well, it's pretty lame, honestly. There are decent songs, idiosyncratic vocals, nifty keyboards à la Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater fame, and impressive lead guitar work where it counts; the expected output of an average progressive metal band, I suppose. What they do here is pretty much completely wrapped up in its own little comfort zone of safe, expected material that refuses to do anything different, and it's not quite hyperbole to proclaim they've written the same tune ten times over (the intro piece "Esperanto" being the only true anomaly.) Just about every track is based on simple chugging riffs and mid-paced guitar crunches leading up to a colorful chorus with overdubbed vocals and insanely easy drum patterns.

However, "Feed on Your Misery" suffers from a lot of issues, which exploit and rot the record's risk-free formula. First, there are maybe three or four anthems that actually have a face; the others are amazingly awesome at stereotyping Divided Multitude's horribly arid and plebeian identity. More important, many of these songs try way too hard to be HUGE and BOMBASTIC and THE BEST THING YOU‘VE EVER HEARD. Sindre Antonsen, otherwise an incredibly unique and unusual vocalist who appears to have a low range and many versatile functions, sounds awful rocketing his voice up into the hills of Asgard throughout “Crimson Sunset” when doing so is clearly not a feasible option. His voice is also constantly overdubbed and blown up during the choruses, probably trying to make the centerpieces prettier or more accessible, but it almost always fails, miserably.

Standouts? Well, I like "Scars" quite a bit; they sound really functional and strong during the chorus. The rest deserves little to no attention. In sum, the songwriting throughout "Feed on Your Misery" is about as strapped to the likes of a hybrid of Dream Theater, Nevermore, and In Flames as one could imagine, and most of the album is sadly polluted by stagnant movements that run too long and produce little of value. "Feed on Your Misery" lasts for an hour in length, yet most of that running time can be simply cut up and thrown out, because there's just not enough relevancy here to justify so many useless tunes. So yeah, find an antagonistic adjective, insert it here; chances are it‘ll apply. Indeed, this is a menu made of misery.

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