Review by Ian Savage
Anyone else miss the days when metal music could be in-your-face, atmospheric and expansive, and still made guys who weren’t taking it all a bit too seriously? Enter Dividium, a Yorkshire five-piece who whilst putting out hard-hitting prog-infused heavy rock still manage to give lie to the ‘it’s grim up North’ adage by actually having fun with what they do.
Don’t let mellow opener ‘The Start Of It All’ lull you into a false sense of security – The Scourge is an hour-long riff rollercoaster with barely a moment to catch your breath. Mid-album acoustic tune ‘Ephemera’ is the aural equivalent of sitting 300-feet up knowing that you’ll soon be thrust back down the track at massive velocity, the inevitable sore neck and aching bones all part of the enjoyment. Sandwiched between the minor-key eagle-winged ‘Crestfallen’ and Machine Head-meets-Porcupine Tree ‘The Indifference Of Good Men’ it provides an eye to the maelstrom that is Dividium’s debut.
Vocals are by turns soaring, harmonised and growling (fortunately the Cookie Monster backing vocals are used sparingly and relatively tastefully; ‘Throat Of The World’ being a case in point), the drumming is precision-engineered and the guitars spread out interestingly for verses before locking back together with the bass to intensify crescendo riffage passages.
The closing three-track ‘Triptych’ salvo opens delicately before storming for the finish line like a horse that’s thrown its rider, the title track casting off all pretence of subtlety with a powerful “I have come for you!” chorus motif. Taken as a whole, ‘The Scourge’ could perhaps do with a hookline or two more to make it truly memorable, but as a display of musicianship and progressive metal songwriting it ranks with the best.
You can get this album as a four-quid download through the band’s numerous outlets. If you’re a fan of heavy music that’s neither generic, formulaic, nor predictable, you shouldn’t even have got this far into the review; you should own it by now.
8.5 out of 10
- The Start Of It All
- Cognitive Dissonance
- Throat Of The World
- Dead Walls
- The Indifference Of Good Men
- Game Of Chance
- The Triptych (i) – In Absentia
- The Triptych (ii) – The Gift
- The Triptych (iii) – The Scourge