Decayed Divinity - "Decayed Divinity"
A definite Australian talent, Decayed Divinity are a very different type of monster. This self-titled debut combines the basics of death, doom and black metal to create a dark and truly morose sound. Dismal at it's brightest, 'Decayed Divinity' is an exploration of sorrow and intoxicating grief unparalleled by others today.
This EP is a swirling, somber and sometimes dizzying collection of grief-stricken music. Moments of true dismal beauty are underscored by Robert Vickery's death-like growls, and the impassioned melodies that hold this recording together are expressions of pure dejection. There's a beauty that runs throughout this CD, a morbid fascination or elegance in the anguish it portrays. This is one metal band that is not angry- the melancholic atmosphere as truly heart-wrenching. Clean guitars are used extensively, and the magnificently melodic riffs and guitar passages are entirely hypnotic. Lauren Marsh's subtle keyboards add an extra dimension to the woeful ambience, and throw in an almost gothic element. 'In Silent Descent' and 'These Thorns That Tear' run for over 10 minutes each, both sweeping masterpieces of downcast grandeur. 'Bitter' is a definite highlight of the EP, and showcases the talents and intrinsic characteristics of the Decayed Divinity sound. While there are only 4 tracks on the CD, it runs for over 30 minutes, standing as testament to the majestic and extremely complex nature of their material.
The downfall of this release is in the production. While for the most part everything is clear and well presented, at some points the emphasis is placed on the wrong things. For example in one passage guitars and keyboards are playing a soft relaxed melody and the drums are much too loud for that moment. Also, as a whole the drums sound distant and relatively thin, lacking the necessary strength to convey the intended emotion. Vocals at times are a little hard to discern, and also Vickery's clean vocals took some getting used to. Overall, 'Decayed Divinity' is a highly formidable release curbed at times by a difficult and (in the case of the drums) sterile production. An emotional journey with doom-laden melodies and melancholic atmospheres, albeit with some flat spots.
Reviewed by: Kev Truong