(Lavadome Productions, 2010)
#FOR FANS OF: Death Metal, Immolation, Morbid Angel, Sinister
A growing trend in the Czech Republic is to play early Morbid Angel/Immolation style death metal with doses of extreme creativity and uniqueness, which is what’s continued here in the third release from veterans Destroying Divinity. The third album in their decade-long career, delivered after a six-year layoff between releases, carries along their traditional stamp of quality, old-school Death Metal with their exuberant mix of both Morbid Angel and Immolation, namely the way Morbid Angel thrashes away with their technical-based rhythms while invoking the atmosphere and sense of dread in the imagery the way Immolation made a career out of, thusly delivering raging, up-tempo riffs with a slight technical bombast into brutal, tight formations that definitely offer up more of a sense of darkness and intensity than anything either band has done yet. Alongside such tight, intense tracks, the veteran sense of knowing when to throw in a melodic line or lead-work is mixed in, putting this in a rather fine league where it blasts away furiously before injecting a slower tempo or augmenting the intensity with a lighter mood through sparring use of a melodic tempo. Surprisingly, this results in somewhat bouncy and energetic rhythms than what would normally be considered in such a genre as befits such a scene here, as the typical impetus is to just blast away with reckless abandon and scald all those who stand in the way, whereas here those get distracted by the melodic tones before getting scalded into oblivion and, it generates a lot more favorable response when it doesn’t employ this every track through as the sporadic use makes it’s surprise appearance all the more fruitful and the devastating impact of the blistering drumming and raging, brutal guitar riffs seem all the more impactful. As a side bonus, the impact against the brutal, deep gorilla growls that populate this one makes the melody more striking against such straight-laced and intense brutality. Intro "To Live in the Gloom of Beyond" starts off with blisteringly brutal drumming and raging rhythms across bouncy guitar riffs, dynamic tempo variations and that swamp-ridden atmosphere so famous in the early MA catalog, just with those extra-deep gorilla growls courtesy of the Sinister influence and certainly sets things off on the right path. Follow-up "At War with Two Worlds" carries forth through a bigger blasting drum-attack and technical riff-work that remains one of the most ferocious and vicious on the album with its’ scathing intensity and eerie soloing that recalls its forbearers quite nicely as it slows down into a series of softer, melancholy melodies that show a far greater attention to songwriting craft than most really get credit for. "Birth of a Faceless Killer" carries on the melodic intro before turning into a typical intense raging track, while "Putrid Stench of Past" is more in line with the typically-intense work before it shows the melodies along the solo section. Ironically, it’s the straightforward and relentless "Undead in the Darkness" that scores the most here with its barbaric blasting, lack of subtlety in the riffing and reluctance to incorporate those melodic interludes and returns to the straight-up formula they work so well with here. That it leads into the blistering, intense "Cult" with the bouncy rhythms at work among the intensity makes it even more of a stand-out. That it ends with an epic near-seven-minute blast of scathing death metal is the capper on one of the most undervalued, overlooked bands in the scene and really doesn’t do a whole lot wrong beyond recycle a lot of the same riffing patterns and rhythms throughout.