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Lord Divine – Facing Chaos Award winner

Lord Divine
Facing Chaos
by Anton Sanatov at 10 February 2019, 7:54 PM

As a concept, ‘grandeur’ is as fickle as any other; for if a giant has no ground to stand on then all the lore of his alleged power amounts to bullshit. That is why when something bears the aura of omnipotence, it is important that it knows where to plant its feet.

In Metal there is always an inherent expectation of a given band to carry a particular mantle of grandiosity with their sound – the guitars have to be slick and loud, the drums huge, and the vocals screaming like a bat out of that place down south. Yet too often do you see that burning flash of ostensibly extreme force turn into nothing more than steaming coals; shredding all expectations into ash. But rest assured that this is not the case here, for Argentina’s own LORD DIVINE have all the traits of a grand Metal band, and they sure know how to put them to use on their most recent effort “Facing Chaos”.

Opening up a record with a heavy instrumental backed by an operatic choir is about as epic as you can get without calling in Zeus to light a spark. As the album’s overture unlocks the gates of chaos the listener is instantly taken aback by the sheer velocity of “Facing Chaos”. The blistering energy of the first three tracks – “Reborn”, “I Am” and “Into The World” – seems to have this album rolling faster than the tape does, and as tasty riffs and slithering licks begin lock swords with scintillating keyboards we are invited into SYMPHONY X and DREAM THEATER territories, the lands of technique, panache, and above all, musical passion.

Yet for all of LORD DIVINE’s worship of the Prog. Gods, there is also an equal appreciation of curious melodies that reaches into the pockets of Symphonic Metal and even the caverns of Melodeth. Tracks like the aforementioned “I Am”, “Be Afraid” and “Follow The Signs” pack pleasantly peculiar orchestral hits, neo-classical keyboard licks, and lively vocal delivery that sometimes even echoes of Symphonic outfits like NIGHTWISH and DEATHLESS LEGACY. The tracks appear to build entire worlds around them with their dynamics progressions and expansive instrumentation, enveloping the listener in whirlwinds of sonic cyclones.

Whilst all of the above is taking place up in the skies, songs in the likes of “Light Through Darkness” and “Divided (Feat. Julian Barrett)” ground this record and give it a harsher, earthier grit of groups like SOILWORK and DISARMONIA MUNDI as they bathe their grooves in splashes of electronics and punchy rhythms, digging up heart and lighting up the sounds of the underground. There is also a very strong, pure Heavy Metal vibe to this album that is particularly noticeable through Diego Valdez’s Halford-esque vocal abilities, and the tight, expansive compositional approach of songs like “The Darkest Light (Feat. Mark Boals)” which bear the confidence and precision of industry mainstays like JUDAS PRIEST and MEGADETH.

The production is just phenomenal. The tracks sound huge, tight, and the recording manages to perfectly seal the flavour of every high-octane take. Granted, the mix could’ve been better with a lower emphasis on the vocals, but with a set of pipes like Diego Valdez’s, one can hardly complain. Instrumentally, “Facing Chaos” is every Metalhead’s wet-dream. The guitar spew riff after riff and cut through cool solos like they’re skating on ice, all whilst the keyboard dominance of  Diego Palma is the stuff of Janne Wirman from CHILDREN OF BODOM - sleek, fun, and just purely exceptional.

Overall - we might as well have tread through Jotunheim, for this is where the giants roam. LORD DIVINE are a prime example of Metal aptitude and musical excellence. “Facing Chaos” is exactly how a great record should sound and is just an addictive ride from start to finish. So if you’re in the market good, honest Metal craftsmanship, then be sure to take this album off the anvil.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Overture (Dies Irae)
  2. Reborn
  3. I Am
  4. Into My World
  5. Beginning of the End
  6. The Darkest Light (Feat. Mark Boals)
  7. Light Through Darkness
  8. Divided (Feat. Julian Barrett)
  9. Be Afraid
  10. Follow the Signs
  11. The Rage On Me
Lineup:
Diego Valdez – Vocals
Hugo Galli – Guitars
Manu López – Guitars
Diego Palma – Keyboards
Andrés Berenguer – Bass
Dalmys Delbueno – Drums
Record Label: Fighter Records
     


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