More often than not, local music becomes a double edged blade for me. Since being so enveloped in music as a whole I’ve developed a pretty well off opinion of the good, bad and the downright ugly. Of Divinity are literally the band “next door”, making a seasoned reviewer like myself tread the (should be avoided) line of reviewing a mate’s project. Do I take the high road and blow copious amounts of smoke up the ass of my newest favourite local band? Do I take a brutally honest approach, risking the wrath of the band and never hearing another peep from the guys who trusted me with the early copy of the debut EP?
The answer is simple, give honest feedback and fulfill your deed to informing randoms on the internet about a new EP they need to add to their wishlists. Featuring inclusions from the local scene, Of Divinity is a fresh take on a watered down, recycled genre base.
I know what you’re thinking;
“Local band, EP access – – this guy must have a hard on for giving guys hard on’s”.
Instead I’ve let this album sink in, marinade and triumph in ways that only make you want to bang your head. Take the fact that this has been done before (a thousand times over) with a grain of salt and get up and mosh. For what it is, it’s not a perfectly flawless piece of articulate metalcore, rather it suffers in simple production flaws of a group testing the waters and hoping to strike gold. Unfortunately, it leaves a lot to be desired. I’ll warn you now, this is about to be as far away as a fan-boy can get to loving a new slab of metal. ‘Lifeless’ is a display of what not to do when mixing a record; uneven vocal phrasing, snare heavy syncopation, wavering vocal melodies and lifeless muffled riff patterns that lack the simple clarity that’s needed to push this aspiring young band onto bigger stages. Sure these things may not be an issue live, but as a group pumping out track after track to be released digitally, things need to be taken up a notch. This is harsh, but we all need to remember this is a debut release from a new act yet to make a splash on the market. As it lies, these are only niggling complaints for a band on the up and up.
There’s a pool of talent here; from string slingers to a growler who spreads a vocal pool as deep as it is wide, it may be slightly limited by the genre they play in but it makes the up-tempo headbanging indulgence all the more sweeter. For a bunch of guys who tote the line “swag” from sunrise to sunset (as well as everything in between), this is as much a celebration of music as well as an attempt to make a name for themselves as musicians. Despite the flaws I’ve already pointed out, there’s more good here than bad. Don’t get complacent, don’t let it go to your head but if you let the mo-jo keep working, you’ll have some pretty sweet mo-jo down the track.
Say what you will about yet another band being added to forever growing list of ‘core’ bands but Of Divinity’s ‘Lifeless’ proves to anything but its name-sake. Overall this lifts the bar for local music, bringing back the head-bang and smiling while they do so. It’s what every local scene needs; good tunes, fun (read: not overly serious metal) and a local act to support on the weekends they play at various venues. Wait for this to drop, it’s a casual listeners’ dream.
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2. The Contagion Complex
3. Death Seekers (Feat. Jordan Wright of The Storm Picturesque)
4. An Era Erased
6. Burial Grounds
7. Lifeless (Feat. Julian Frank of HEIRESS)