Dead And Divine


Written by: AP on 21/12/2011 14:00:23

Despite having two albums of an unwavering quality already in the bag, Canadian metalcore outfit Dead and Divine has always flown just beneath the mainstream radar. Whether or not this third offering, "Antimacy", will do anything to change that remains to be seen, but it certainly makes no sacrifices with regard to the canucks' sound and ambition.

In contrast with previous outings, "Antimacy" fumes with venomous antagonism from the outset and, never slows into a lull. With plenty of Southern swagger, harmonic dissonance and mathematic rhythms, plus the occasional well-placed, impassioned clean singing, the opening trio comprising "Asphyxia Fiend", "Grim Love" and "Slumlord" gives a solid overview of what's to follow: a combination of a frantic punk velocity with off-kelter riffs and a relentless desire to punch everything in their path. Indeed, one of the best qualities of "Antimacy" is its refusal to sugarcoat the underlying rawness so as to attain mainstream appeal. Even when Matt Tobin switches from his bellowing mid-range rasp to singing - a relatively rare occurrence across the album's running length - he does it with the same twisted, self-absorbed knack as Every Time I Die's Keith Buckley.

But while Dead and Divine definitely reside on the darker side of melody, they manage to forge a sound that is at once both bloodcurling and fun, no doubt to the benefit of their live performances. Guitarists Christ LeMasters and Sebastian Lueth lurch in Botch-esque low end chaos, yet there are glimpses of a 70's rock'n'roll and 90's hardcore influence in virtually every riff, with highlights "Cult/Misleader", "Carcinoma" and "It Sleeps in Bliss" serving as the best examples. All this naturally screams Every Time I Die, but while there is no question that said veterans have played an integral role in shaping the sound of "Antimacy", Dead and Divine manage to carve out their own niche with an approach that puts more emphasis on sounding deranged and unpredictable than on milking the blues rock cow.

In fact probably the best way to describe "Antimacy" to someone not familiar with Dead and Divine is to say it's one third Norma Jean's cacophony, one third Stray From The Path's frenzy, and one third Every Time I Die's swagger. As such, while it cannot be claimed to be the height of innovation, on it Dead and Divine play their cards exactly right and deliver one of the most solid, consistent and engaging metalcore albums of this year; something that fans of all of the mentioned bands should lap right up.


Download: Asphyxia Fiend, Grim Love, Slumlord, Cult/Misleader, Carcinoma, It Sleeps in Bliss
For the fans of: Botch, Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Stray From The Path
Listen: MySpace

Release date 02.08.2011
A Wolf At Your Door Records

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