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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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