Bringer Of Plagues review by Divine Heresy

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jul 28, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.2 (45 votes)
Divine Heresy: Bringer Of Plagues
3

Sound — 8
Do you like to be punched in the face from the get-go when you put on a metal album? Then Divine Heresy is your band. The Los Angeles quartet knows how to get your attention, which is quite evident in pretty much every track selection on its sophomore album Bringer of Plagues. If the rapid-fire, machine gun rhythms of the band's debut record (Bleed The Fifth) clicked with you, then you'll be once again drooling over the amazing team of guitarist Dino Cazares (formerly of Fear Factory), bassist Joe Payne, and percussive monster Tim Yeung. The primary difference this time around is the addition of new vocalist Travis Neal, who doesn't stray too far from the vocals that fans heard on the debut album. Much like former frontman Tommy Vext Cummings, Neal has the ability to tackle demonic screams and aurally pleasing singing with ease. And in any case, it's hard to detract from the main attraction: the double bass pedal.

Never has there been such an apt title for a song as the opening track Facebreaker. Between the seemingly nonstop, crazy-fast beats from Yeung and the bumblebee riff (it simply sounds like an insect's wings amplified) from Cazares, there is plenty to take in. All of the different musical sections are almost startling at first, but that was likely Divine Heresy's intention. Mission accomplished. While the primary focus of Facebreaker and the vast majority of the CD revolves around the rhythmic element, there are moments when the melody takes control. In this area, Neal truly shines and is able to show his true depth as a vocalist.

Creatively, Divine Heresy brings a great deal to the table this time around. Between the eerie, synth-driven (programmed to sound like classical strings) interlude Undivine Prophecies to the guitar part in Letter To Mother that seems to fly from one side of the stereo speaker to the other, the band was definitely not just trying to keep the status quo. The melodic aspect certainly gets the spotlight in several choruses, but at no time does it overtake the song. Divine Heresy excels in creating what sound like insanely difficult rhythm parts, and it almost makes you believe that Yeung has a robotic arm hidden under his sleeve.

It would be remiss to not mention Darkness Embedded, which although features a rather dark title, leans toward more of a metal ballad. Yes, there is still a good deal of double bass pedal, but it has an interesting effect considering that every other aspect is done in a straightforward, mellow way (think A Perfect Circle). It would have actually been cool to hear one or two more of these types of songs, if only to give a nice contrast to the up-tempo tunes.

Lyrics — 8
For the debut album Bleed The Fifth, many of the song themes were inspired by The Bible's Book of Revelation namely the part about disasters and war. That approach seemed to sit well with the band because there is definitely more talk about war, and as the album title Bringer of Plagues suggests, an onslaught of disasters. The topics might be slightly too serious for some listeners, but given the badass music underneath it all, a little talk about war and plagues seems necessary.

Overall Impression — 9
New vocalist Travis Neal absolutely does justice to the band, and he covers pretty much every situation range-wise that you can possibly imagine. High-pitched screams? Check. Growls? Check. Melodic with a pleasant vibrato? Check. The members chose wisely when they selected Neal, as he can keep up with every twist and turn that the rhythm section delivers and they deliver a lot. While guitarist Cazares has some nice melodic lines in his playing, the lead work is still usually overshadowed by the rhythms he lays down elsewhere. When it comes down to it, there is absolutely a brutal element to Divine Heresy's new material and it should be embraced by those who like a more aggressive blend to their metal.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    sXe170
    Love this album. Great review, Neal has a bigger and better vocal range than Vex.
    k3v1n shr3dz
    its good. i think the new singer poops all over the old guy. Vext had a great singing voice, but his growls n screams left a lot to be desired. this new guy has it covered. overall its not necrophagist, or the faceless but im diggin it. NEEDS MORE SOLOS!!!!
    AstheticsOfHate
    I definantly like Tommy more. This album isn't bad, but it's not amazing. It feels like the guitar riffs are all the same and it makes the album feel like a haze of noise with rediculously amazing drumming! First impression: 7/10
    rebornmaster9
    i like this new singer more, he has more dynamic range with his vocals. and there drummer is ****ing sick, that guy is on crack
    griffo110
    good band making good music but i despise dino more than any human on the face of the earth
    Illiad86
    ah, not too bad... The guitar work and drums are damn nice, just what I'm looking for. Quite "brutal" indeed. But the vocals...meh. I don't get what's with this mix of growling and whiny clean vocals lately. Might give it a try though.
    havokandrukus
    dino stepped it up and tim yeung is amazing. this album rules, one of the best albums of 09.
    cobainAnselmo
    Reviewer Pete wrote: Not the best album to grace the world...
    but it is great Pete... Dino's skill has grown a lot since Bleed The Fifth.. Not just "chug-chug" riff at Fear Factory.. Tim Yeung and Joe Payne... two monsters from Nile!! This band is great!!Love New album alot... but it still needs more solos...
    Wylde14
    Sewe Dae wrote: I haven't heard them, but I'm not sure if it'll be worth the money. For some reason I'm really very skeptical about these guys; no matter how many reviews I read, I can't shake the suspicion that I'll be disappointed when I hear it.
    this album isnt as good as Bleed the Fifth in my opinion. check out that album instead, I find it much more powerful
    Rysis
    Travis Neal is amazing, but he should be in more melodic band.
    BurningTheLives
    I've always been a fan of Dino's riffs, and the last album was great imo so I will be getting this soon.
    The Tak
    hahaha just what I was expecting; a bias review ever since dino gave ug an intervciew. I listened to a few songs of this and they are not that great, not bad, just quiet boring.
    BurningTheLives
    k3v1n shr3dz wrote: its good. i think the new singer poops all over the old guy. Vext had a great singing voice, but his growls n screams left a lot to be desired. this new guy has it covered. overall its not necrophagist, or the faceless but im diggin it. NEEDS MORE SOLOS!!!!
    A lot of Vext's screams sounded extremely digital and studioized. From what I heard in the song Facebreaker, the new guy sounds more natural sounding, and his clean singing is up to par with Vext's, and I thought Vext had great clean singing.
    Echoplex
    Is this actual melodeath? The guitar parts sound metal, but the vocals sound hardcore-ish.
    Rysis
    The new vocalist was amazing, Bleed the fifth was very good, and this should be better, so i can't wait
    Oli_
    Bleed The Fifth was ok, I havn't heard this yet but I personally found the screamed vocals (on BtF) really annoying, and they lacked power.
    Jacksonsoad
    This band is good. They dont disappoint, but nowhere near as good as this reviewer makes them out to be.
    Sewe Dae
    I haven't heard them, but I'm not sure if it'll be worth the money. For some reason I'm really very skeptical about these guys; no matter how many reviews I read, I can't shake the suspicion that I'll be disappointed when I hear it.
    undead_embrace
    That album cover looks ridiculous. The hooded figures have skulls and rib cages - but they have normal hands? wat?
    efferus
    Vext rapes this clown. I was very disappointed the vocals on this new album. It isn't so much that the new vocalist is absolutely, it's that his style and tone doesn't fit in the soundscape. At all. I was a huge Divine Heresy fan, after picking up this cd I realized Vext is what gave the band any true potential. 6/10