Divine Heresy
Bleed the Fifth

Surely there were a lot of disappointed Fear Factory fans out there when the band broke up a few years back and reformed several months later without guitarist and co-founder Dino Cazeres in the fold. Their next album, Archetype however was very promising, standing among the bands finest work, though the follow up, Transgression, was a flopping disappointment if I’ve ever heard one (this sentiment was also widely shared among most FF fans), and a poor experiment in sound, lacking most of the aggression that was so prevalent in prior releases.

So what’s a guy like Dino to do with himself after exiting such an influential band? The next couple of years saw him take part in, and was one of the major driving forces behind the Roadrunner 25th anniversary All Star collaboration, as well as contributing to Asesino and Brujeria, and now Divine Heresy, a band that will surely please the FF fans seeking more aggressive material with a bit of that trademark sound.

Simply put, Divine Heresy is akin to Fear Factory doing death metal. Drummer extraordinaire Tim Yeung (Hate Eternal, among many others) provides an array of drum assaults, including some blasting, though primarily focuses on the Fear Factory machine like precision stomp that really dominates and shapes the sound. Much of the death metal influence is coming from the riffing of Cazeres, but he also incorporates some of that signature Fear Factory style, as well plenty of shredding, even if not totally fantastic solos. Vocally, newcomer Tommy Cummings is comparable to Burton C Bell, delivering a harsh/clean switch off that is executed well (another well taught student of vocal coach Melissa Cross).

The band seems to be at there best when going for a more straight ahead pummeling attack in tracks such as “This Threat Is Real”, “False Gospel”, and the title track, where any sort of melody and clean vocals are left at the door, though a whole album of this would be a bit monotonous, which is where songs such as “Failed Creation”, “Impossible Is Nothing”, and “Rise of the Scorned” slot in nicely to break things up with some less chaotic moments and clean singing. Bleed the Fifth is loaded with groove, though most noticeably in a song such as “Soul Decoded”, while the album finishes off on a much more stripped back and mellower note in “Closure”, with Cummings turning in an all clean performance.

Production wise, Bleed the Fifth provides what is expected of Roadrunner with an ultra clean and probably a little too slick sheen, though I’d say that the solos should have been pushed forward some in the mix, to allow them to “jump out” a bit more.

Divine Heresy have made a pretty decent album in Bleed the Fifth – very memorable songs with big hooks even if overall it seems just a tad formulaic. If they can work out that kink along with some of the production values, they could be looking at a monster of an album next time around, though I’d still recommend this to anybody disappointed with Fear Factory’s latest outuput.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
April 25th, 2007

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