Ex-Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares is a man that has an axe to grind with his new act Divine Heresy. After being fired (if breaking up only to reunite again isn’t being fired then what is?) from the band he once co-founded and then having to defend himself from his ex band mates verbal attacks isn’t harsh then what else could be? Do you remember the one about his guitar playing and that Fear Factory are now a heavier and more intense band without him? Well it’s safe to say that it’s definitely been a tough few years for the man.
With that said, I’m not a Fear Factory fan. I certainly enjoyed SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE back in the day and can still remember the intensity of their first tour of Australia. I can also appreciate the impact they had on the scene – which is something that cannot be denied. However by the time DIGIMORTAL came and went it was definitely the sound of a band on the ropes or a band pressured by their record company to create something a little more palpable, which is what happens when you get a minor hit as the band did with their interpretation of ‘Cars’ in 1989. Either way it was weak. Divine Heresy and the debut BLEED THE FIFTH isn’t. This is basically everything the current incarnation of Fear Factory isn’t. It’s brutal, intense and quite devastating to say the very least.
Dino’s trademark riffing remains intact – one listen and you’ll known it’s him which is great. Having a signature style is pretty hard to come by in extreme circles, unless you’re Carcass, Napalm Death and a handful of others. With all said, it’s that guitar sound that drives the album – sets the tone and makes BLEED THE FIFTH a solid album – an album that will nestle comfortably alongside Dino’s back catalogue.
Joining Dino is a man who’s worked with both Vital Remains and Hate Eternal, drummer Tim Yeung who does a killer job and replicates (no pun intended) the interplay Dino once shared with Ramond Herrera. The person who completes the picture is an unknown by the name of Tommy Vest who makes his mark on vocals. Much like Burton C Bell, Tommy alternates between clean and guttural vocals, but unlike Burton who has a very limited style – especially where his melodic voice is concerned, Tommy nails it here with a greater sense of melody and a lot more conviction. This guy is totally on fire and will no doubt impress in a live situation.
I’ll tie things up here and say that comparing Divine Heresy to Fear Factory is lazy journalism – I’ll admit to that but it’s inevitable as it’s the tension between Dino and ex bandmates that makes it the album that it is. Whether or not it connects with the public in the same way Fear Factory once did is another thing altogether. For the time being, BLEED THE FIFTH is a solid debut and awaiting your attention. I’m here to tell you that it deserves some. In this instance revenge is certainly sweet.
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