Sunday, July 04, 2010
It’s a given that the singer in a death metal band is going to sound like a starving werewolf – it’s the first requirement to play the style. But Divinity frontbeast Sean Jenkins sounds positively rabid on The Singularity, every roar and growl the call of some voracious carnivore just one pane of glass away from being unleashed upon a trembling populace. Beg to Consume, indeed. This particular hellbrute is backed by musicians that twist and turn on the proverbial dime, shifting from soaring prog to skullgrinding thrash in an instant, Jenkins ripping at their flesh as they go. Occasionally the transitions don’t move as smoothly as they aught, like a well-dressed epicure leading you into his abode to show off his fine taste in furniture, then beating you to death with a $1000 chair. Most of the time, though, the marriage of majesty and brutality is a happy one, even if brutality definitely wears the pants in the family.
- Michael Toland
City of Fire
The thing that’ll draw attention to City of Fire is the presence of Fear Factory yowler Burton C. Bell and FF/Strapping Young Lad bassist Byron Stroud. But calling this a Fear Factory side project is selling it short. Not that Bell in particular doesn’t give a bravura performance here – he shouts, growls, roars and sings with the best of ‘em. But he’s just part of a massive metal tapestry that pulls in bits of death metal, Tool-like progressive rock, alt.metal, hard rock, psychedelia and even – on the powerhouse opener Carve Your Name – Killing Joke. Rather than a mishmash casting about for a consistent style, the record becomes a cohesive set of melodic, majestic metal anthems that will likely appeal to headbangers of all creeds. (Plus Emerald, the obligatory acoustic breathcatcher.) Spirit Guide, Coitus Interruptus and the monstrous and elegiac cover of the Cult’s Rain should attract lighters, fist, horns and air instruments in equal measure.
- Michael Toland