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Divided - Behind Your Neon Eyes

Behind Your Neon Eyes
by Emily Schneider at 15 September 2020, 8:37 PM

DIVIDED is a band of time traveling lads, hailing from the 24th century to present day Budapest. They initially gathered in 2014 and released their first full length album in 2017. Now, in 2020, their second album “Behind Your Neon Eyes” has made impact… in more ways than one. This album has elements from plenty of genres including AOR, Melodic Metal, Electronica, Synth-Wave, the list can go on. The band sums it all up with the coined sub-genre name “Arenacore” and I too find the label fitting.

The album opens with the Melodic Rock track “Descent”, which flows into “Roll Out”. This second track has a great blend of dancey, catchy electronic melody blended with some massive vocals to create a futuristic, space-age setting for the album. “Don't Turn Away” brings a more Hard Rock vibe into the electronic and pop infused sci-fi setting. This one reminded me of AMARANTHE and MEATLOAF, somehow blended perfectly in-sync. \[Futurenation] has a rad guitar solo in the heart of this anthem style track. This is definitely the song DIVIDED could declare as their iconic/theme song, if it wasn't intended to be that to begin with anyway.

“Meteorite” is a super fun track. This is such a Rock Opera kind of song, especially with the additional vocals from the wonderful Bjorn “Speed” Strid (NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA). The chorus is one that will encrypt itself into your brain and linger long after the song ends, it's just so infectious.  “Follow You” is a much darker track, lyrically and sound-wise. There's this almost creepy side to this song, like something is lurking beyond the neon lights. “Space Samurai” brings in some Far East inspired melody as the tale of a Samurai who traveled to the wrong time unfolds. “The Last Starfighter” brings on the electronic-laden Power Metal feel a-la VICTORIUS. I can't help but to crave to hear this song in a concert setting. It's so damn catchy and you can headbang and dance along interchangeably. “Teknoskeptic” is yet another fucking blast to listen to. This one is heavily Industrial, much like their listed influence BLUE STAHLI and they executed it perfectly. They did all the checkmarks from the dancey beats, to the spoken word slow-down in the middle that builds back to a ear-worm chorus. Plus the riffs toward the end paired with the synths was spot on perfect. “Beam Me Up” kind of jarred me to the other end of their musical chops spectrum after that heavy Industrial song just before this one. This one brings you back to the Melodic Rock side. They mixed Star Trek and Star Wars references, which may or may not set well with die-hard fans of one or the other while listening to this song. It all builds it up to the 7 and a half minute epic “Until the Stars Turn Cold” The intro is pretty intense, dark and heavy riffs and some distant spoken words draws you right in. This song quickly goes very goth/industrial with some of the best synth-work on the album and honestly, I loved this style from them the most. It was awesome hearing added vocals from the incredible Flo V. Schwarz (PYOGENESIS). It added this almost haunting quality to this totally space-age song. I won't lie, I got goosebumps a couple of times while listening to this too. It ended this album in the best way imaginable… and all I wanted to do was listen to it again. (and I did, at least twice more in a row)

Overall, I wasn't sure what to expect from DIVIDED. Sure, the cover most certainly indicates a space/sci-fi theme, in the synth-wave vein particularly. Yet, I was still surprised, in a very positive way, that it was that and much more than you could judge by a cover alone. This album has bits and pieces of many different sub-genres of Rock, Metal and Electronic music and it seems, this band does every single one effortlessly. Each song kind of had its own feel, but still flowed as an album pretty cohesively. (albeit, one or two songs could have been flipped order-wise for the best effect) The vocals were crazy good in every single song too, Brother Belmont is one hell of a vocalist with not just range but also, being able to change his vocal style depending on the track. There was just the right amount of theatrics when needed, yet it still felt like he was performing his own space age Rock opera. It was truly an enjoyable listen with that in mind. The biggest thing I want to highlight is “Behind Your Neon Eyes” is pure FUN. You can tell the band is aiming to entertain and they really get into the music they're creating. It's a contagious feeling that keeps you hooked until the very end. It's a trip to the space-age version of the future that you never want to leave.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Descent
2. Roll Out
3. Don't Turn Away
4. \[futurenation]
5. Meteorite (feat. Björn 'Speed' Strid)
6. Follow You
7. Space Samurai
8. The Last Starfighter
9. Teknoskeptic
10. Beam Me Up
11. Until The Stars Turn Cold (feat. Flo V. Schwarz)
Brother Belmont - Vocals
psyKlone - guitars, synth & programming
Sol - bass
Stalkher - drums
v0id - live guitars
Record Label: Nail Records


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Edited 12 April 2021

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