Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Divine Heresy - Bringer of Plagues - 76%

thedeathofmusic, April 10th, 2010

Unlike the majority of members on the Metal Archives, I enjoy some metalcore equally as much as I enjoy extreme metal (black, death etc.) but for some reason, I can't stand deathcore. This is why I was so pleased to find a band like Divine Heresy; they manage to fuse death/technical death with metalcore without leaning into the abomination of a genre that's known as deathcore. Not only can they pull this off, but they do it well (unlike Despised Icon, Veil of Maya etc.)

The album starts off with Facebreaker, which really gives you a taste of what you're in for. Full on technical death metal breakdown mayhem.

Apart from the obvious lack of a second guitarist, Cazares chose this line-up well. Tim Yeung is, in my opinion, up there in the same league as Gene Hoglan, Chris Adler and Blake Richardson in terms of technical ability. His drumming is, for me, the highlight of the album. He delivers furious blast beats and thick, ridiculously fast double-bass peddling throughout the whole album, a good example of this is Monolithic Doomsday Devices, an immensely mediocre song made bearable by his amazingly punishing drumming.

Dino Cazares himself tends to take a very industrial, rhythm based approach to his riffing (very reminiscent of Fear Factory). Most of the songs follow this riffing pattern except most notably, Letter to Mother, which puts melody first (in comparison to the rest of the album, anyway) and has more of a melodic death metal feel much like Soilwork in parts.

You can tell that the bass guitarist, Joe Payne, has been deeply rooted in death/ technical death metal for a while as his bass work is very technically skilled and complex with a very typical technical death metal sound. Despite not being a major part of each song, the bass work is driving yet atmospheric.

Finally, the most controversial change made since the release of Divine Heresy's first studio effort, the replacement of Tommy Cummings with Travis Neal. Most people hate Neal's vocals where as some people prefer them. I prefer Neal's screams and high-pitched screeches over those of Tommy Cummings but in general, as a clean vocalist, Neal is dismal. He has a forced, awful tone of voice and struggles to hit the right pitches in most of the songs where he sings. A classic example of this is the "ballad" Darkness Embedded.

The songs to check out are Letter to Mother, Redefine and the title track which, although repetitive, has an awesome, really staccato rhythm. The low points are Monolithic Doomsday Device and Darkness Embedded. Monolithic Doomsday Device starts out promising with an awesome group chant but then descends into an unimaginative almost melody-less four and a half minutes of nu metal styled repetition. It would be the worst track on the album if it wasn’t for some great creative drumming on Yeung’s behalf. With Darkness Embedded, it’s not that I don’t like power ballads, it just feels out of place and Neal’s aforementioned clean vocals are terrible, especially on this track.

I quite like this album, the only reason I didn’t give it somewhere between 80-85 percent is because of the slightly repetitive riffs and song structures and the fact that there is only one guitarist. Without a second guitarist, they lack a certain atmosphere that most other bands have. Despite all of this, I am still looking forward to what will come next from Divine Heresy.