Divinefire - Into A New Dimension
Rivel Records
Power Metal
10 songs (39:46)
Release year: 2006
Divinefire, Rivel Records
Reviewed by Crims

DivineFire is a rather interesting band to me. For those that don’t know DivineFire are an overtly Christian band whose lyrics all revolve around the Christian faith and God, in a not so subtle manner. Being Atheist since about the age of 12 means I’m not a big fan of the lyrical content found in DivineFire and other such overtly Christian bands. Most overtly Christian bands tend to get very preachy, which I personally do not like. On top of that, the music generally isn’t very good either. However, for the first time in my music listening life I’ve been able to get a great deal of enjoyment out of a Christian Metal CD because a) the lyrics are not preachy and b) the music is excellent. In truth I’ve been following DivineFire since their inception and this is actually their third release and probably their most consistent. The previous two releases from DivineFire had a handful of amazing songs and about the same amount of filler, so as good as they could get the CD’s were mostly hit or miss, with Hero being more hit than miss than Glory Thy Name.

I feel it’s best to get the lyrics out of the way so we can concentrate on the music. You can sort of consider the lyrics to be the Christian version of what many Viking Metal bands have done in their praise of Asgard, Odin, Thor, and the Viking Religion/Traditions. You just have to replace the above mentioned aspects of the lyrics with Heaven, God, Jesus, and the overall message of the Christian religion in the vein of very uplifting and life changing messages using God and Jesus as a turning point. In other words, a typical topic might be that you can change your life for the better if you love God. This is the same type of stuff that Pastors and Ministers have been preaching since the dawn of the religion. For me personally the lyrics can get a tad over-bearing even though the message and content (minus the religion aspects) are rather positive and meaningful. Another reference point is to take the lyrical style of Lost Horizon’s first release and instead of believing in yourself, Metal, and your friends to get through hard times, you believe in God instead. Whether this detracts or adds to the music is going to be a personal choice but I must say the band does not get preachy or judgmental in their message and that’s probably more important than anything.

When you remove the lyrical content the music is all-together intense, melodic, aggressive, and epic. Feeding the epic qualities of the music is huge orchestrations and a lot of background chants and choir back-up vocals. The orchestrations are overtly present in an almost Rhapsody Of Fire vein at times but what balances that out is a huge guitar sound and massive riffs. The production and guitar tone is something that has remained consistent from CD to CD and really is unique. The guitars have a modern but dirty sound to them which kind of off-sets the lyrics a little bit. The riffs are a combination of traditional European Power/Speed Metal mixed with a touch of quality Gothenburg Death/Thrash. What this results in is some surprisingly massive riffage that remains intense throughout the verses and the choruses and never seems to be content to just accentuate the vocal melodies. As overpowering as the keyboards and synth could potentially be the guitar sound and riff style helps balance out the overall sound of the band and allows the music to be epic and textured without losing its “Metal” sound. The drum rhythms are typically very fast with a lot of immediate double bass runs, Thrash runs, and galloping rhythms that keeps pace with the intense guitar playing nicely. There is even the occasional Thrash influenced break down for maximum head banging.

The vocals are handled by Narnia’s Christian Rivel and for those who haven’t heard him can expect a very clean and melodic singing style. Though Rivel’s never quite gets in the “gruff and snarly” territory that the music might demand he sings with enough power and emotion it makes up for it and provides a fantastic contrast to the gruff guitar tone and aggressive rhythms, and this really helps the band create this unique sound. There is a lot of backup vocals during choruses and as you can expect every chorus has a epic quality to it that allows for a lot of sing-along-potential. As I alluded to earlier the fact that the riffs continue to be intense during the choruses (something a lot of European Power Metal bands don’t do these days) means the music never lets up. Sprinkled throughout the CD even more so than in previous releases is a harsh vocal style that is part raspy Black Metal and part deep Death Metal. The harsh vocals usually come in during lyrical parts that involve Satan and temptation. It actually fits the music very well and I’m glad to hear DivineFire continue to explore this aspect of their music as it is becoming a staple of their sound rather than a gimmick to be used on one or two songs.

Where as past CDs had the odd throw-away track or filler this releases is a lot more consistent. There is no filler to be found here (for the first time in their career) and while the band hasn’t necessarily improved on their formula I did find the riffs and speed to be even more aggressive this time around. My only minor complaints are that when you have essentially the same breakneck speed in every song there isn’t a lot of variation to be found. There is no ballad or mid-paced rocker; everything is full-speed ahead snap-your-neck-off riffs with blatant and obvious orchestrations. DivineFire have done this style extremely well, mind you, however, as good as the individual songs are, a full CD listen can and likely will result in blending-songs-syndrome due to the similar tempos. I think the band may have to incorporate a few more change-ups or at least one mid-paced song to help balance the variety (this also includes the lack of a long-epic song as found on previous releases, which is a shame because the style begs for at least one long and epic song). Also, as good as the riffs are the guitar solos never really stood out in any particular song, nor are there any theme-leads. All the off-setting melody to the rhythm guitar comes from the keyboards and the keyboards do a really good job but I feel there is always something to be said for memorable solos or solid lead melodies. If the band can add this I think it’ll take them to the next level because all other aspects have come together on this release.

It’s unfortunate the lyrical content may turn off some because the music deserves to be given a chance. I was warned prior to listening to their debut of the lyrical content and I’m glad I overlooked it and concentrated on the excellent music found within. I look forward to every DivineFire release because the band has touched on a distinctive and consistent sound and it’s no more evident than on this release.

Killing Songs :
Passion and Fire, The Final Victory, All For One, Facing The Liar
Crims quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Divinefire that we have reviewed:
Divinefire - Eye Of The Storm reviewed by Erik and quoted 78 / 100
Divinefire - Glory Thy Name reviewed by Ian and quoted 76 / 100
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