Divinity - The Singularity
Candlelight Records
Melodic Death Metal
9 songs (45:08)
Release year: 2010
Divinity, Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Goat

Moving onwards from an impressive debut, Canadian melo-tech-death horde Divinity are building on their talents and setting the stage for a nicely niche position for themselves in the genre. As before, The Singularity was self-released before being picked up by a big name for worldwide distribution, and Candlelight have once again proven their eye for talent. Somewhere between Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah and Scar Symmetry, Divinity have a run-of-the-mill name but an impressively heavy line in metallic destruction. The Prog tendencies that raised eyebrows on debut Allegory are here given freer reign, and the result is the technical likes of Transformation, riff-driven piledrivers that assault from every direction at once with precision and confidence. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed on first listens, as the band allow for very little time to find your footing before they shoot off – think of The Singularity as the Melodeath version of the last Gorod album, and you won’t be too far off, as although Divinity avoid the French crew’s melodic technicality in favour of a more groovy style.

They know exactly what they’re doing, however. The album opens with Abiogenesis, militaristic drumming and Deathcore beatdown riffing before zooming into SYL territory with an epic keyboard line and echoing vocal screams that reverberate around the sonicscape, building up to an extended growl and groovy post-Meshuggahisms before launching full-tilt into the manic screams and pounding riffs of Beg To Consume, which is a little like recent Cryptopsy done right. Intriguingly widdly guitars lead into a roared chorus, surprisingly catchy for this sort of metal, and the structure of the track gets clearer as you get used to the band’s off-kilter style, where solos are thrown in seemingly without thought and riffs can change on a dime. All very well written, of course, and a big step forwards from the sometimes disappointing Allegory.

The biggest criticism you can throw at Divinity is their odd choice of song titles. Lay In The Bed You’ve Made is a crushing and enjoyably diverse Melodeath song with Soilworker melodies and Brutal Death elements, but it’s undermined a little by the title – not a vast problem, true, but it’s a flaw in an otherwise flawless piece that disdains actual clean vocals in favour of shouting, something all Melodeath bands should consider. The spacey keyboards and virtuoso soloing soon soothe any lingering doubts, and by the time Emergent rolls around with a psychedelic-tinged post-thrash pummelling it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t care if the band called a track Gene Hoglan Is Fat And A Rubbish Drummer, as long as they keep playing.

And keep playing they do! The aforementioned six-minute Transformation is a maelstrom of groove, swinging between grunty Death slam and screechy tech-thrash with a spectacular breakdown – it even saves the catchy vocal hook for the end, just to keep you listening. Monsters Are Real opens with electronics before lifting into something that Tool might make if they wrote speedy Death/Thrash songs, whilst Embrace The Uncertain and Approaching The Singularity have tinkly piano moments, sombre eyes in the storm. There are clean vocals on the former, and it dragged the track down a little for me, but the track moves towards Prog Metal territory later on and soon makes up for it. Divinity wrote the album well, making it complex enough to warrant repeat listens, with enough transparent and hidden hooks to make you want to. It’s not the best Death Metal you’ve ever heard (the aforementioned Gorod easily beats it) but it is a big step forward for the band, and sure to please Melodeatheads looking for something a bit more technical and complex than they usually find.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Beg To Consume, Lay In The Bed You’ve Made, Emergent, Transformation, Approaching The Singularity
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Divinity that we have reviewed:
Divinity - Allegory reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
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