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Divine Heresy - "Bleed The Fifth" (CD)

Divine Heresy - "Bleed The Fifth" CD cover image

"Bleed The Fifth" track listing:

Song Title Time Price
1. Bleed The Fifth
2. Failed Creation
3. This Threat Is Real
4. Impossible Is Nothing
5. Savior Self
6. Rise Of The Scorned
7. False Gospel
8. Soul Decoded (Now and Forever)
9. Royal Blood Heresy
10. Closure

Reviewed by on December 28, 2007

"if you liked Killswitch Engage's 'Alive or Just Breathing' but didn't like their direction afterward, then you should be ecstatic over Divine Heresy's debut"

Dino Cazeres' (ex-Fear Factory, Brujeria) latest project stormed the scene late this summer with their debut album, "Bleed The Fifth." The effort's sound both surprises listeners and offers some of what is expected from Cazeres. The band's influences are well represented on the opening and title track, "Bleed The Fifth," where we hear primarily a new-school take on melodic death metal similar to early Killswitch Engage, but heavier. Blended into that sound is a classic death metal guitar, also complimenting the fast drumming and blast beats primarily during speed bursts and during the non-chorus verses, as well as Fear Factory-style guitar stops. With drummer Tim Yeung (Hate Eternal, Vital Remains) on board, the drumming is extreme, using blast beats from the start and sporadically throughout the song, and generally driving the music to faster speeds. By the end of the song there is a Pantera-sounding riff, an influence that can be heard throughout the album as well. With a number of change-ups and a somewhat accessible but generally extreme sound, "Bleed the Fifth" is a great opener for the album.

The next track, "Failed Creation," starts out more extreme-sounding, then sounds like a cross between Killswitch Engage and Fear Factory, with Tommy Vext showing his clean singing voice and range combined with the stops typical of Fear Factory. Vext's vocals span all styles in this song, from an Anselmo-like delivery to clean vocals to screams. Clean vocals and screams layered over each other only help to reinforce the Killswitch Engage comparisons in this song.

Haters of the NWOAHM (New Wave of American Heavy Metal; or NWOAMC - New Wave of American Metalcore - as it may be) may be turned off by "Bleed The Fifth," but the album has much more to offer. The third track, "This Threat Is Real," sounds a lot like Pantera, from the vocal delivery to the drums and guitar grooves, before breaking into a more new-school screaming ending, as does "Savior Self" (sans the melodic chorus).

With Cazeres on both guitar and bass, it is understandable that Fear Factory's trademark guitar sound would be audible in his latest work. "Soul Decoded (Now and Forever)" sounds like a track taken straight from Fear Factory's catalog, from the guitar tone to the stops to the flat vocal delivery in places--at least until the Pantera-style groove and squeals enter three minutes into the song. "Royal Blood Heresy" also sounds like Fear Factory with a heavy dose of melodic death-metal. In addition, the Fear Factory and Killswitch influences wax and wane throughout "Impossible Is Nothing."

"Rise of the Scorned" stands on its own fairly well, not sounding overwhelmingly like any of the aforementioned influences, despite its melodic parts, which manage to sound altogether different.

Divine Heresy is being billed as innovators and the album as highly original, but the only thing I would call truly original is the blend of it influences, which are audible from the outset of nearly every song. Still, Divine Heresy's music is visceral, well executed, and worth checking out. The guitar work is solid. The vocals are diverse and generally more aggressive than melodic. The drumming is top notch and drives the pace and feel for many of the songs.

In short, if you liked Killswitch Engage's "Alive or Just Breathing" but didn't like their direction afterward, then you should be ecstatic over Divine Heresy's debut. Pantera and Fear Factory fans also have much to enjoy from "Bleed the Fifth," as will many metal fans in general.

Highs: Fast, visceral metal with excellent drumming and variety in vocals, with "Failed Creation" and "This Threat Is Real" as stand-out tracks

Lows: Sometimes their influences are all too obvious

Bottom line: An excellent, fast-paced, aggressive album that is still fairly accessible

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)