A couple weeks back at the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival brought back old memories running into many friends from over the years in the music industry. Throughout the course of the day I did manage a ‘Hello’ to the man who I first saw on stage opening for IRON MAIDEN at The Palace. Through recent controversies, DINO CAZARES still remains the friendly guy I met many moons ago and used to see at gigs throughout the LA area. He knew of the site and look for an interview to appear in the future. But for now it’s time to talk about Bringer Of Plagues from DIVINE HERESY.
Say what you will, but I will state it here and now that this album is a step up for DIVINE HERESY as their debut left me wondering when the FEAR FACTORY reunion might happen. Opening Track, “Facebreaker” is just that with a swirl of noise and blasts that transfer tempo changes amongst what I always thought was unique in the way that Dino approaches the songwriting with progressions that set his bands apart. But even above and beyond that is the precision drumming of TIM YEUNG (NILE, VITAL REMAINS). There is no denying him as one of the finest in the genre as although most precision players don’t demonstrate the ability to play with power, the sounds and attack that Tim produces on this album show that he is not a typical speeddealer as evident across the album, especially the title track.
New Vocalist, TRAVIS NEAL shows that he was the right choice for DIVINE HERESY but there is no denying that his more melodic passages bare a resemblance to those of BURTON C. BELL (FEAR FACTORY) which isn’t a bad thing, just shows where the heart of Dino truly is when looking for a sound. “Anarchaos” has a crowd chant style chorus that will get everyone enthused in the pit, but the song does take a slight step back in the middle portion with the monotone vocal phrases. “Monolithic Doomsday Devices” marches on in true metal fashion where Tim again displays his drumming skills by bridging simple fill patterns with flourishes on his ride cymbal interspersed with his kick and toms. The album does have a unique twist with “Darkness Embedded” which is more of a, dare I say, ballad? Travis Neal shows that his abilities can outreach this genre with a heartfelt delivery and what is really interesting is that if you strip the modern day heaviness and double kick out of this song, you’d have a true throwback power ballad.
Could this album sway the naysayers to be believers? Not necessarliy aas they probably don’t have the balls to give it an honest listen. But if you can give it an honest listen, then be ready to enjoy a great offering come July 28!
Label: Century Media
By Mark Thompson