Sound: I happened to be browsing a metal magazine when I ran into a review saying that this album was very good. So I decided to check it out having never heard of Divinity before. And they were right-- Divinity is a rather good metal band with another great album to add to their discography.
I was impressed with the brutality that Divinity displayed here in this new album. As a newcomer to them, it took me a little bit to get into the music, but I was very glad that I randomly found them in a magazine. Heavy riffs with brutal, tight craftsmanship and soloing are always a welcomed from any band, and Divinity does a good job of presenting themselves on The Singularity as organized and talented.
The only problem with this album is that the songs have a tendency to run together and kind of sound the same. While each individual song is rather impressive and enjoyable to listen to, I found myself losing interest by the time I had reached the sixth track. They make up for this somewhat by including a trance piano intro to the 7th track, but the interlude only lasts for about a minute before giving way to a song very much like track number three. The first four songs are very different, but then the rest of the album seems like more of the same thing. This was somewhat disappointing to me, as I had gotten very excited from the diversity of the first four tracks only to be listening to more or less the same four tracks for the rest of the album. The final song is very diverse and well-penned, but it doesn't make up for the songs in between. I only wish that the same creativity I heard in the beginning could have been carried through the whole album.
Here's the breakdown of the tracks.
1. Abiogenesis: Love the marching, pounding intro. Very reminiscent to Gojira, in my opinion. The song continues with an eerie riff that leads into another pounding line and a complementary guitar solo that winds down into a synth lead-in for the next song. Great start.
2. Beg To Consume: Brutal intro with a fast, chugging riff to follow. The lead singer's voice reminds me somewhat of Anders from In Flames here, which I do enjoy. So much energy here in this song-- it is very heavy and fast. Nice solo towards the end with great support from other instruments.
3. Lay In The Bed You've Made: This song opens with a riff that has a nice groove to it and is unique to the album. This song also displays the diversity of the lead vocalist as he switches from low growls to yelling to high screams. The song drives forward until about 2/3 the way at which there is a short switch to a somewhat softer guitar soloing section. Technical and brutal.
4. Emergent: Somewhat reminiscent of a Meshuggah track. This song is very heavy and brutal, but still gives way to another welcomed and appropriate solo section. Not my favorite song on the album, but still not half bad none the less. There is some well-placed ambient synth to found here, too.
5. Transformation: Very brutal intro into an awesome, pounding, pinch harmonic-ridden riff. Transforms into a different faster riff with much vocal diversity throughout. This song seems to lack the tightness of the other tracks, though (it may just be me). The song also seems to last too long, despite a rather incredible guitar shredding solo towards the end. Still not bad, though.
6. Monsters Are Real: The opening to this track is very much that of a Machine Head song, and it gives way to a heavy riff that gives way to an even heavier riff. Fast and chugging riffs are the main composition of this song with no chance of letting up in sight.
7. Embrace The Uncertain: Very nice, serene piano intro. This song sounds somewhat like "Lay In The Bed You've Made", but there is more sing-yelling and is much more complex. Has a Scar Symmetry feel to it.
8. Formless Dimension: Speaking of Scar Symmetry... This track sounds very much like it was pulled from a Scar Symmetry album. Heck, even the title reminds me of a song that could be on "Holographic Universe". However, this does not make the track bad as it is one of the better songs on the album. Pounding riffs, an awesome solo, and more singing from the lead vocalist create a very nice blend in the song.
9. Approaching The Singularity: The last track makes this album go out with a bang. Clean riffs mixed with pounding metal and brutal drumming create a wonderful diversity throughout the song. The track finally ends on speedy piano arpeggios and synth, which begs the question as to where those two instruments were in the rest of the album, save one or two songs. It feels a little rushed in the final forty seconds or so, but it is still a very good ending. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are dark, obscure, and metaphoric-- as is usually expected with genres of this sort-- but they are still well written. It seems that the general theme of the album is the vices of mankind, with greed ("Beg To Consume", "Approaching The Singularity") and rape/homicide ("Monsters Are Real") standing out to me. Divinity takes a very negative approach on the state of our society, and it shows not only in the lyrics but also in the way those lyrics are performed. This rage against the evil tendencies of mankind attributes to the overall brutality of the album. Unfortunately, this is nothing that we haven't heard before, and so the lyrics--while definitely brutal and mostly well written-- are not incredibly notable.
On a side note, I loved the album art. Very cool-looking and transcendent. The art goes well with the name and sound of the album. // 7
Overall Impression: Despite being a little repetitive, this is a solid album that many metal listeners can enjoy. Complexity is always a good thing, especially when it's tightly performed and skillfully produced, and Divinity shows that they can create pounding riffs with intricate instrumental work. While I wish that the entire album featured the synth/piano additions to create a more unique experience, it is still a good album filled with all sorts of talented musicianship. If you haven't heard of this album (or of the band for that matter), give it a listen. You'll probably find many things to enjoy just like I did. // 8