Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 11/15/2005
Method Of Execution
posted on 11/2005 By:
First, a little bit of current events...Divine Empire is a death metal band, previously of Olympic records, before the negative legal attention from the actual Olympic committee graced the metal community, prompting Olympic Records to go under or face legal action. Currently, their entire roster has been picked up by their parent company, Century Media. Now however, Divine Empire is releasing their new album through Crash Music. Divine Empire plays a fading style of death metal that is extremely reminiscent of Malevolent Creation (go figure), yet tries to expand upon the standard sound by framing their music in a more modern incarnation instead of trying to preserve the classic sound that bands like Monstrosity champion. Divine Empire even manages to throw in black metal similar to Dissection to create interesting shifts in their musical attack. With the scene’s growing preoccupation with hyper-speed death metal ala Hate Eternal and Origin, it’s rather refreshing to hear a band that holds more in common with the classic Floridan death metal sound rather than the constant blasting and guitar riffs played at breakneck speeds that most death metal has been moving towards. Don’t get me wrong, I love the intensity that the current trend of death metal is taking as it goes towards more brutal areas, but nothing can replace the sound pioneered in the early 90’s and championed today by phenomenal bands like Vital Remains. Floridan death metal is a part of a dying breed nowadays, and any band that tries to recapture the magic of the early days will undoubtedly grab my attention.
It comes as no surprise that Divine Empire sounds heavily like Malevolent Creation, considering the fact that John Paul Soars and Jason Blachowicz of Malevolent Creation formed the band with former drummer Derek Roddy (yet again of Malevolent Creation). Yet what I found surprising is despite the shared similarities to MC, Divine Empire is not a carbon copy of their sound. They actually managed to play an interesting form of death metal, blending their Floridan death metal sound ala MC with more melodic forms of black metal. I was extremely impressed by the obvious maturity of Divine Empire’s sound, but considering that Method of Execution is the fourth CD of DE, a follow up to the 2002 release Nostradamus, and the fact that these guys already have plenty of experience it’s somewhat understandable. It’s extremely easy to take for granted exactly how cohesive Divine Empire’s sound is, as these guys literally blend seamlessly from death metal to black metal. Despite the obvious black metal overtones, I would strongly hesitate in labeling this band as a black/death band. The black metal is more of a personal adaptation of death metal that uses the familiar composition of black metal in order to form a more diverse sounding form of death metal. I know this seems like I’m saying they play black metal, but they don’t play black metal, but you really have to listen to the band to understand how they use those characteristics as just another facet of their death metal sound. Divine Empire manages to incorporate these extremely different characteristics yet hold the integrity of a distinguishable style.
However, despite my obvious fondness for their sound, it has serious difficulty holding my attention for more than a few songs. The idea is pure gold, but the way they craft their songs borders on just a bit too simplistic for my taste. Songs like, "The Mauler", "Vowed Revenge", "Prelude to the Storm", "Storm of Hatred", and "Kill the King" are absolutely great, the rest of the album fails in drifting from ultimately mediocre shores. It doesn’t matter how greatly you’ve managed to develop your sound if you can’t keep the listener interested long enough to impress them. Method of Execution boasts of ambitious intentions, but ultimately it just falls flat of its goals. Don’t get me wrong, I think that this is a strong release and worth the listen, but my attention keeps slipping. Maybe if the album had been cut in half, only keeping the best songs it would manage to hold its intensity better, but as the sixteen song and nearly hour length opus this is, most of the songs end up sounding like superfluous filler where none was needed in the first place. Similarly, a lot of the songs end up having overplayed parts that to me just seem wholly unnecessary and would have been better if they had been scrapped. So despite the mastery of their sound, Divine Empire’s Method of Execution seems to loose sight of its ambitious goals somewhere in its sub par construction. Despite their favourable characteristics, I just don’t see them really standing out or making a large impact with this release. It’s good, just not great.
Register to post comments.