Band: Darkness Divided
Album: Written in Blood
Label: Victory Records
Reviewer: Brody B
- The Shepherd’s Hands
- A Well Run Dry
- The Hands That Bled
- The Descent
- Eternal Thirst
- Withering Kingdom
- The Will of Man
- Divine Mercy
With a ton of heavy releases coming out in the past few months and upcoming months from big name bands, I was a little hesitant to take a listen to newcomers Darkness Divided. However, the group of San Antonio natives caught me off guard with their debut full length, “Written in Blood”.
The record oozes nostalgia as it channels the pure things that made metalcore shine in the early 2000s. Guitar solos, stellar clean vocals, and an overall gritty tone abound on this wonderfully fun record.
After a short into, The Shepherd’s Hands kicks things into full gear. The band’s diversity becomes quickly apparent, be it in the form of vocalist Gerard Mora and his ability to transcend from guttural lows to piercing highs or the instrumental prowess the band shows in the form of switching off between chuggs to techy runs.
A Well Run Dry is a personal favorite of mine on the record as the track is constantly twisting and turning, seldom letting up from relentlessly technical guitars and battering drum beats. And when things do get “softer” during the chorus, it’s in the form of powerfully sung vocals that soar in contrast to the harshness it is sandwiched between.
The Hands That Bled has something for every fan of metalcore. Anthemic chorus, dueling guitar solos, gang vocals, groovy bass, and two-stepping sections. What more could you ask for? The Hands That Bled is the best representative of what “Written in Blood” has to offer and made the perfect single. The lyrics, “Holes showed the price / It poured from your side / My salvation was written in blood” are very impactful and add to the power of the chorus.
The middle of the album is solid and meaty as the powerhouse combo of Eternal Thirst, Withering Kingdom, and Remnants keep things going, all complimenting each other nicely. My favorite breakdown on the album comes in the form of 2:00 on Withering Kingdom.
Divine Mercy refuses to fit into the box of current metalcore standards by closing out the album in ballad format. Instead the closer is one of the more raucous on the album with furious double pedal attacks and some of the most biting chugs. The song does reach a climax at the end which find gang vocals chanting, “For the sake of Your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and all the whole world” leaves a haunting conclusion to the album.
While a solid and fun record, “Written in Blood” has a few things holding it back. Three instrumental tracks that felt a bit like filler is a substantial amount for a record only toting eleven tracks. Of the remaining tracks, only a handful really had standout moments. So while by no means bad songs, things just tended to run together at times.
Overall: Darkness Divided are off to a promising start. The band clearly has all the right tools to create memorable music that brings nostalgia to metalheads like myself and is sure to draw in a new crowd with their youthful vibes.
RIYL: Corpus Christi | War of Ages | As I Lay Dying | For Today (Ekklesia / Portraits era)