Having already amassed a roster reeking of heavy metal bands, Victory Records saw fit to add San Antonio’s, Darkness Divided, to their ranks. With only EP, ‘Chronicles,’ to their name, the Christian metalcore quartet are set to release their debut full length, ‘Written In Blood.’
The opener introduces strings, and a sizzling riff which hints that ‘Written In Blood’ is about to give your ears a royal bashing. Like a Venus flytrap promising something sweet, ‘The Shepherd’s Hands’, delivers nothing grand, instead ensnaring you like prey with run of the mill breakdown’s, guttural roars and a paltry chorus. ‘A Well Run Dry’ attempts to inject some moisture into a genre suffering a drought and for the most part the Texan’s do just that with passages that change musical landscapes, adding chunky riffs and fretboard rapidity that’d have ‘The Flash’ panting to keep up.
From here on in, Darkness Divided go on leaps and bounds to add a little bit more texture to their brand of metalcore whether it’s through ‘The Hands That Bled’’s infectious rhythms, industrial electronics and sweet-as-a-nut solo that would have you air guitaring like you thought you were Synyster Gates or the metallic pop of Eternal Thirst which has the grace of an elephant learning ballet in a room full of mice, pure carnage.
It’s not until the metal pomp of the powerful ‘Withering Kingdom’ rears its ugly head that you realise the quartet’s potential. Sounding like Bury Tomorrow pumped full of testosterone, frontman Gerard Mora decimates all in his path, while his bandmates back him up with bullish drumming and gang vocals.
The album doesn’t ease up either, as standout track, ‘The Will Of Man’, will testify. This call to arms could have soundtracked the London riots, and if not careful, would easily have you throwing a microwave through a window as you flip the bird to the powers above, while formidable closer ‘Divine Mercy’ ends with gang vocals that will send chills running down your spine.
‘Written In Blood’ is the sound of a band full of promise and unwilling to compromise when it comes to the bog standard metalcore rulebook. Sure, it does have its generic moments but these kids are still learning their trade and to all those looking to emulate should take a leaf out of their book.