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Divided Multitude - Faceless Aggressor

Divided Multitude
Faceless Aggressor
by Gary Hernandez at 06 October 2019, 11:43 AM

DIVIDED MULTITUDE is a five-piece Progressive Metal band, with Power Metal leanings, hailing from Brekstad, in South-Trondelag, Norway. In September this year they released their seventh full-length album, “Faceless Aggressor.” The album features ten tracks and, in true Prog fashion, almost hits the one hour mark. Lineup wise, Jan Thore Grefstad (SAINT DEAMON, HIGHLAND GLORY) has joined the band as lead vocalist and Sindre Antonsen has stepped back from main vocalist while maintaining duties on guitar. Three special guests make an appearance on the final track, “Psalm of a Soldier”: Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY), Ida Haukland (TRIOSPHERE), and Terje Haroy (PYRAMAZE).

“Faceless Aggressor” is a well-produced, well-executed album. It showcases exceptional performances by all the members, including Jan Thore Grefstad who melds perfectly with the band’s polished veneer. What the album lacks is something that sets it apart, even from itself. Every song comes across like an even keeled replication of the song that came before it.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a good album but it is missing a rawness. There are no breakout moments, nothing unexpected, nothing out of synch. It’s simply too well orchestrated, too neat. It is metal tamed and subdued.

And then there is the cover of Alanis Morissette’s 1998 hit (and let’s face it, every song released by Alanis Morissette in the 1990s was a massive pop hit) “Uninvited.” Okay, great song, great cover, but out of all the possible songs and all the possible artists, Alanis Morissette? Really? I think I threw up a little in my mouth there. But okay, maybe I need to get over some of my own issues and biases, but why not someone like Tori Amos who at least earned some cred from her cover of SLAYER’s “Raining Blood.” Okay, moving on now.

Best track on the albums: “Divided Multitude” has some very heavy moments, though some folks will probably hate the Nu Metal vibe. “Faceless Aggressor” is also very good. (Both of these songs, btw, have interchangeable intros, which doesn’t help with the homogeny issue I noted earlier.)  I do also like “Counterparts,” which is supported by a video release.

Worst tracks? Again, all the songs on this album are good. It’s just that they’re plagued by a hyper-consistency. Boring is perhaps too strong a word and suggests a lack of artistry. There is no doubt this album represents some excellent musicianship, but it could do with some variation. The English might say it suffers from a lack of character.  Similar to the album cover, the faces have been blurred and erased, leaving only a similitude of expression. DIVIDED MULTITUDE has been around since 1996 when they issued their first demo. They have seven full-length albums, no EPs, and no splits. They are clearly talented, well funded, and can probably sell out stadiums. I have musician friends who will go insane when they hear the sophistication of the compositions on this album, but for me the absence of viscera kills it. A little less polish and little more grit, please.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Chapter 2
2. Faceless Aggressor
3. Counterparts
4. Divided Multitude
5. Uninvited
6. Prosperity Divine (The Machine of Mammon)
7. False Prophecy
8. Evolve
9. Out of the Ashes
10. Psalm of a Soldier
Lineup:
Anders Vinje – Drums
Sindre Antonsen – Vocals, guitars
Rayner Haroy – Bass
Christer Haroy – Guitars
Jan Thore Grefstad – Vocals
Record Label: Ram It Down Records
     


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