- Synaptic Tide
- The Swarm of Eden
- Hearts Of Decay
- Forlorn In Distance
- The Great Deception
- Rustic Skies
Have you ever stuffed a chocolate chip cookie into your face only to realize that it has walnuts in it? Have you ever experienced such horror? I’ve been in the metal community long enough to realize that, much like walnuts in a cookie, instrumental tracks are always going to be an unpredictable, hit-or-miss part of an album—especially when they seem like filler. I don’t know why these food metaphors always come into my head when writing a review (maybe I should eat first), but the comparison works here because instrumentals are the main course in Divulgence’s new album Future Seed. Don’t think cookies are metal? We’ll get to some torture equipment soon enough.
It’s relatively easy to describe Future Seed as an album. In terms of genre it’s thrash with a few black and death metal influences. The vocals are relatively mid-range, higher than the usual death growl and much lower than any black metal shriek. If there were more vocals, I would say that there was no variety, but there’s not enough for it to be an issue. The lyrics present some interesting concepts that coincide fairly well with the beautiful, futuristic, almost Orwellian cover art. The music itself has a lot of catchy and technical ostinatos, a few well-placed breakdowns, great guitar solos and very impressive drumming.
However, an even more accurate way to describe Future Seed is as an EP thrown on “the rack” and stretched to death. There is some good material (between the long bouts of instrumental filler) that shows off the band’s talent, but it isn’t enough to save the album. The amount of instrument-only bits (even the bearable sections) captivated me so much that I had to go through the entire album just to see the extent of their domination. After listening to Future Seed with this object in mind, I discovered that out of the 38 minute timeframe, more than 24 minutes are instrumental segments that last between one and three minutes—whether they’re intros, outros, center-fillers, or full tracks.
READ THE FOLLOWING CHAOTIC TRACK-BY-TRACK AT YOUR OWN RISK: The two minute instrumental introduction (cleverly called “Introduction”) eventually leads into “Synaptic Tide,” which is timed at three minutes, but only two minutes of the song are actually accompanied by vocals. “The Swarm of Eden” is one of those songs that has a quick and catchy riff, but is played so long and so often that it almost drives the listener insane. There are two minutes of instrumental work here. “Cognition” opens with some dark, black metal riffs that seem like they’re going to redeem what has occurred so far until they too are repeated to death; its intro lasts for over a minute, and has two additional minutes of straight instrumental out of the overall five minute time frame. “Hearts of Decay” is a well-crafted song, but has a concluding instrumental that lasts over a minute. This outro leads into “Forlorn in Distance” which also has a minute of boring intro, and three minutes and fifteen seconds of straight instrumental parts. “The Great Deception” also has a one minute intro, a one minute and fifteen second outro, and over three minutes of instrumental in between. And as if we didn’t have enough of this, the album ends with “Rustic Skies,” almost five minutes of pure instrumental.
At this point, I have stomach ulcers—and if you read that entire paragraph, so do you.
Overall: The good qualities of Future Seed could have made an excellent EP, but instead they were stretched by too many instrumentals and beaten to death by their own reoccurring riffs. And for what? To make it the length of a standard LP.