Divine Heresy - Bringer Of Plagues
Roadrunner Records
Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal
12 songs (45:52)
Release year: 2009
Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Goat

I tend to view Metalcore with the elitist's typical disdain for the popular, yet often I'm pleasantly surprised by the bands I choose to investigate - pessimists are never disappointed, after all. At the time of writing, the subgenre seems to have sunk back into the depthless pit where all fads reside, waiting to be joined by Deathcore and traditionalist Thrash when, I don't know, Folk Punk and Industrial-Grind become the new big things, yet as Dino Cazares and crew here prove, it isn't quite dead yet. I ignored the last Divine Heresy album because it seemed pretty poor from casual sampling, yet decided to give Bringer Of Plagues a go since it's ok to like Dino again now Burton C. Bell has accepted him back into the Fear Factory ranks - plus, I never realised that Tim Yeung was on drums! As you might expect from a lineup which contained members of such august bands, the drumming is spectacular and the riffing is downtuned and heavy - although far better than you'd expect from Fear Factory's Digimortal, say. It says a lot, however, that Digimortal has far better songwriting overall and will always be my first pick when faced with a choice between the two.

I suppose that Crims was right in his review of Bleed The Fifth to say that this would appeal most to Fear Factory fans, since it does often sound like that band gone Metalcore - although the music is without a doubt Metalcore and not Industrial Metal. Vocal-wise, Travis Neal does the usual whiny-clean harsh-screamed thing, not the same as Burton's oddly flat wailing - the real pull is the Metal itself, mostly melodic and catchy chugging backed by Tim Yeung's varied blasting. It's best described actually as Metalcore played by Tech-Deathers, for although Dino is hardly part of that clique, his driving riffing does sound as if it is. The majority of the tracks fall into a samey style, Melodeath-esque riff piledrivers, with melodic choruses and breakdowns aplenty, a few exceptions actually making Bringer Of Plagues a decent listen overall. The Soulfly-plus-Gojira groove of Anarchaos is a nice touch, as is orchestral interlude Undivine Prophecies, and whilst more than a few will find the Nu-Metal-tinged Monolithic Doomsday Devices a nuisance, it's more than bearable.

It'll be interesting to see if Dino continues this band now that he's officially back in Fear Factory and that Metalcore is a dying breed - ultimately, I can't see Divine Heresy as being remembered as an integral band of the 00s, but neither are they so bad that you're best forgetting about them. They're the perfect disposable listening experience, fine for when you want a taste of what the kids are listening to, but soon to be forgotten when you put some Fear Factory or Vital Remains on and realise, say, just how whiny and terrible ballad Darkness Embedded is in comparison. Divine Heresy have neither Fear Factory's knack for songwriting and atmosphere, nor Vital Remains' heaviness and vitality, yet they're good enough to be listenable and even enjoyable, especially if you can dig good drumming wherever you hear it. Fans of the first album will eat this up, most other people will ignore.

Killing Songs :
Facebreaker, Bringer Of Plagues, Anarchaos
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Divine Heresy that we have reviewed:
Divine Heresy - Bleed The Fifth reviewed by Crims and quoted 78 / 100
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