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some things are better, others are worse - 69%

RapeTheDead, December 2nd, 2019

I just noticed that in this little Divinity mini-series, I haven’t really brought up Allegory, which is the promising full-length that thrust these guys into the public spotlight in the first place. For all of my qualms about the band’s overstimulating songwriting that tries a little bit too hard for its own good, that album does toe the best balance between being diverse and intricate while also tying together a few good riffs in succession. Maybe they just got a sophomore jinx and had two years to recreate an album that they had slowly built over the course of a decade? It certainly seems that way as I listen to the debut to get a bit of a refresher. The songwriting on Allegory is a lot more subtly detailed and easier to follow along with than any of the ideas that have been present in The Immortalist trilogy, although I probably prefer the overall aesthetic of Momentum the most of any of their releases.

I bring this up mostly because as weirdly written and scatterbrained as their early material is, it makes a lot more sense than the supposed multi-album concept laying behind The Immortalist. Somehow, their songwriting seems to have been diluted over time I was expecting a climatic release, perhaps a mesh of the proggier and heavier themes explored on the two previous albums respectively, something that ties it all together. Instead, it seems as though Divinity have tried their hand at atmo-deathcore a la later Fallujah, with lots of synth-laden, dramatically-played slow chords, and big buildups that lead into more big buildups, all put together with the more modern production style and focus on death metal-y riffs over thrash that was introduced on Momentum. It seems like all is lost and this is just going to be a pointless re-treading of the last two releases with nothing new added to it..there’s a bright spot on this EP, though: “The Reckoning” and “Conqueror” easily have some of the best vocal lines that my biggest frustration of this band, Sean Jenkins, has ever done. It’s not actually that he’s that bad of a vocalist, really, his technique and delivery is exceptionally professional, it’s that he never seems to write vocal lines that fit the song in a pleasant way. That Is not the case on this EP, with a series of clean vocals that sound powerful and downright majestic (taking the grit out of his voice does wonders) and seeing as as those songs are written like the more flowing, grandiose ballads they’re supposed to be, the vocal lines are placed in the songs incredibly well. While the first two tracks are boring and seem to give the impression that the album sucks, the last two tracks make up for it because Jenkins actually learned how to fucking sing, and it turns the latter half of this into a worthwhile and at times genuinely pretty great prog melodeath release.

And in a nutshell, that sums up my feelings about the Immortalist trilogy, and really, this band as a whole: there’s individual sections of songs, and sometimes entire songs, that are genuinely great, but for every song like that there’s just as many full of ideas that seem to drag and go nowhere or just try to play around with riff styles that clearly don’t fit with the vibe, seemingly thrown in just to be jarring. There’s a good album in The Immortalist trilogy, I just really think they needed to trim the fat, cut the songs that weren’t as good and streamline a couple of the songs that were almost there. There’s probably about five solid songs throughout the three releases, and if you altered a couple more and put it all together it would be a solid full-length. Seems like that would have been a better solution instead of spreading good ideas over three mediocre releases, but hey, what do I know? I’m just the guy listening to it.