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probably as good as it's gonna get - 72%

RapeTheDead, December 2nd, 2019

Alright, this I can stomach a little bit more. The first two albums weren’t quite as balls to the wall as you’d hope a spastic, multifaceted prog-melo-thrash band would be. Again, there’s still the very occasional moment where this sound a bit awkward and unsure of itself, but for the most part, this one comes out swinging. Could be that I’m a blastbeat junkie and it’s got a lot more of those instead of the thrashy half-blast the drummer likes to use so much, the transitions seem a bit more fluid as well, there’s a lot of little things that sound a wee bit better than Awestruck. Maybe they just needed a few years to recollect themselves and refine the songs a little bit, because, well, on Momentum the songs actually kinda feel like songs! They stick to a few themes for a while and build…dare I say it…momentum?

Perhaps they just needed to do more drugs. The longest track, “DMT”, what I can only assume is an homage to the elusive and controversially fascinating psychedelic, is easily the strongest track here. For one, they actually stick to a couple motifs and use them frequently (holy shit guys, you can do it! That wasn’t all that hard now, was it?) and the guest vocals by Soilwork guy are very, very refreshing. I don’t realize how much I dislike Sean Jenkins’ clean tone until I hear someone different fronting Divinity. Because he’s singing on this album, my enjoyment of their music is always going to be capped to a degree, but out of everything they’ve done so far, his flaws are least evident on Momentum. He uses a low more often to go with the more death metal-y riffs. Speaking of those, the riffs are easily the heaviest they’ve tone, and the album is mixed more like a deathcore album which shows on songs like the title track. There are now more nods to a modern, djenty sound, especially during the slower breaks, and while that does get my guard up, it contributes to the overall cohesiveness of this album if I’m being fair.

Though there’s not quite as much soloing or euphoric, ethereal moments as the previous installment In this series (as you might expect from a more psychedelic-tinged release), there’s a lot more meat and intensity in the riffs to make up for it. “DMT” gets all the melody and poppy stuff out of the way, and does it in style to boot. It seems like after getting a bunch of haphazard and not-quite-great ideas out of the way, Divinity is starting to sound like they have focus and a sense of direction! If I liked the vocals more, I would recommend this release, as it’s a pretty riffy slab of prog melodeath stuff. Now if only the vocalist could stop doing shit like those weird crossover thrash vocals at the end of “PsyWar” and generally just cut back on the smearing of his fecal matter all over this band, I may actually want to listen to Divinity more often. Check out “DMT” if you’re a Soilwork fan anyhow, as it’s a good way to see what Soilwork would sound like if they had a lot more technicality and riffs.