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New album, same mistakes - 15%

Trilogique, June 4th, 2010

I didn't really anticipate Divine Heresy would ever make another album. Something just didn't feel right when I heard they had made another album. They seem too one-dimensional to make another album but alas here we are with Bringer of Plagues (not exactly the best title but I suppose it's better than the title of their debut), a complete carbon copy of the first album (again, one-dimensional). In fact, it's such a blatant copy of the first album that the same mistake that plagued (*giggles*) the first album is still present: one guitarist. WHY, GOD DAMNIT, WHY? When they were looking for a new vocalist they should have been looking for a second guitarist. I mentioned this in my review of their first album.

Let me bitch about the music before I rant on about the tepidity of one guitarist. First and foremost, the new vocalist is just downright terrible. Vext, the first vocalist, was no testament to good vocalist, but damnit he was tolerable. Then Dino and his douchebaggery decided to kick him out and bring forth this abomination. I don't have a problem with metalcore vocalists if their voice has some bass to it (manliness, bulk, see it as you wish) but this dude has nothing to distinguish himself from. His inherent screaming has no deep tone to it and it's really bothersome. This is why I dislike most metalcore, too. Misery Signals' Controller is a perfect example of good metalcore vox. This guy is not. If you were to attend to a metalcore vocalist audition, this guy would be indistinguishable from the rest so why he was picked is beyond me. As if his harsh vocals weren't bad enough, his 'singing' (if you wanna call it that) has this mainstream, wannabe metal sound to it. It's that sound from someone trying to be "metal" but he just doesn't have the voice. Refer to Five Finger Death Punch for a more clear example of this sound. In summary, it's just bad. You will not be singing along, or even thinking about, the stuff he says when he sings (which I thought was the idea if you're going to sing during the choruses?)

Dino is a good guitarist. His style is extremely narrow, but he's good from a technical perspective. His writing, though, sucks. If I could illustrate how his riffs sound, it'd be like a sine wave except not as fluid. You'll have a few seconds of this low, E string strumming then it'll JUMP to a little higher pitch then immediately jerk to the E string again. I'm not an expert on guitars so trying to vocalize how it sounds is a bit tough for me. I'm not saying this style is bad, but when it's in every song it's just tedious. This exercise in tedium is only further illuminated by the fact that there's one guitarist, but more on that later.

There's no audible bass so I'm not even going to bother singling it out.

The songs themselves are an amalgamation of metalcore sounds with standard song structure. Don't get me wrong: I have no issue with standard song structure, but it relies HEAVILY on execution; the execution of making the choruses catchy and the verses worth remembering. You're stuck with the worst of both worlds.

Last but not least on my checklist of shit that really fucking sucks about this album is my thoughts on one guitarist: YOU NEED TWO GUITARISTS! With such jerky, vapid riffing, you need a 2nd guitarist to balance or, at the very least, hide the shittiness of poor guitar playing. Very rarely do I find bands with one guitarist good. This is because when you have one guitarist you have to perform both rhythm and lead duty and generally, you become a jack of all trades, master of none. This is the exact reason why Dino, with such a lackluster range of riff writing, needs a partner in crime. The end result is just an insipid mess of forgettable sounds.

So if everything fucking sucks, why did I give this a 15? Tim Yeung. The guy is a phenomenal drummer. A complete beast. His machine-gun drumming is the coating for his tight, precise playing. Definitely one of the best drummers in metal today, despite the fact his playing style isn't the most interesting. Execution comes before innovation, though. If you wanted a reason to listen to this album for anything other than pure disgust, this would be the reason. I will pan every Divine Heresy album from this point on until they get a 2nd guitarist.

If the album title has any meaning, it's probably referencing Dino's dictatorship within the band and inability to recruit a 2nd guitarist. He truly is a bringer of plagues. Sorry I couldn't resist.