It seems there is something in the air down south which is churning out bands left, right and centre. The City Divided are the latest band to hail from Hertfordshire and through all their own steam have released their debut EP that can be downloaded for free. The EP was recorded with Dan Lancaster (Proceed) who also recorded the band’s single ‘Blue’. The single received lots of positive reviews, something the EP should replicate.
The City Divided are a difficult one to categorise and opening track ‘Laughing’ is the epitome of this: the track begins with soothing, soft piano work covered with soft, breezing pop vocals before heaving churning guitars with some epic riffs explode out. The song instantly has a more rock/pop-punk feel with this element, but as the song progresses the vocals change to incorporate some screaming. The screams are possibly the low point of the song: they just don’t seem to fit or work all that well, but the band seem to understand and it’s a while before they resurface. Perhaps pop-metal is going to become a huge genre in the near future! There is a hell of a lot of diversity within just the first track.
‘Higher Ground’ is perhaps the meatiest track on the album with clear influences from 80s power metal throughout, and it is here that some of the heaviest and most interesting riffs are displayed. ‘Watching The World Burn’ slows down the tone of the EP giving the chance to show off Alex Choo’s true vocal abilities and ranges. This leads into the best track, closer ‘Waiting At The Gates’. The track is bruising and melodic and it packs all the punches. It is here though that the death metal screams make their final reappearance, but fortunately the song is good enough to forgive the band for this total mistake.
The only real limitation to this EP is it’s just far too short: four tracks is definitely not enough to make the most of this band, especially as released single ‘Blue’ isn’t even included. We’ll all just have to be patient until this band get plucked from obscurity in Hertfordshire and blasted out onto the main scene. Until then we’ve got four tracks to keep on repeat!
Reviewer: Rhian Westbury