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Divine Heresy
Bleed The Fifth
September 2007
Released: 2007, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Sometimes, a reputation carries with it enormous weight. Such is the case with former Fear Factory guitarist, Dino Cazares’ new band, Divine Heresy. Cazares helped keep metal alive and kicking in the nineties with Fear Factory’s highly-influential SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE, DEMANUFACTURE and OBSOLETE releases. His machine-gun, seven-string riffing became synonymous with the band’s sound and after his falling out with Fear Factory in 2002, little was heard from Cazares in terms of recorded output, so when Divine Heresy was first announced earlier in 2007—with Tim Yeung and newcomer Tommy Vext rounding out the lineup—the buzz quickly intensified. Little is known of Vext (AKA Tommy Cummings) but Yeung won the “World’s Fastest Drummer” award a few years ago and his work in Hate Eternal and Vital Remains proves that accreditation is not without merit, so what does the trio make of this new entity on its debut, BLEED THE FIFTH? Well, more than a passing resemblance to Fear Factory is present, albeit without all the electronics, and a healthy dose of modern-sounding clean/harsh vocal trade-offs will likely be met with mixed opinions but BLEED THE FIFTH is a scorcher of a record and a welcome return from one of the genre’s most respected axemen.



It would be foolish to totally distance himself from Fear Factory’s bludgeoning riffs and insane drumming but at the same time, Cazares is in a bit of a rock and a hard place because coming too close in sound would have been a bigger crime. Aligning himself with Tim Yeung is exceptional as the blastbeats and punishing drumwork is not far removed from that of Raymond Herrera and sounds really heavy here. Cazares, himself, actually drops a few solos on BLEED THE FIFTH, too, something that was never done during his tenure in Fear Factory and his trademark guitar sound is everywhere. Vext seems to be from the Philip Anselmo/Corey Taylor school of tough-guy vocals and he is totally interchangeable with every other thick-necked metalcore hack currently spewing venom. To his credit, though, he can also deliver a solid clean vocal when called upon. Problem is, it sounds a lot like Killswitch Engage’s Howard Jones, who people seem to have a love/hate relationship with. In general, Vext is the weakest link in the band, if only for the extremely generic nature of his vocals. Musically-speaking, though, Divine Heresy is spot on.



The title track is righteously heavy with Vext growling, roaring and shrieking like a man possessed. Yeung’s kick drums thunder like a Sherman-tank convoy and Cazares’ riffs are slamming like a jackhammer on turbo. Cazares’ shredded solo absolutely smokes, too, and it is a wonder why he never saw a place for doing them in Fear Factory’s music. “Royal Blood Heresy” is just as brutal with a majestic intro that is reminiscent of Nile and Vext absolutely slays on vocals. Yeung’s hyperblasting and marching tempo sets the pace for what is easily the standout track on the CD. Locking into a chunky groove that would not be out of place on a Machine Head or Pantera album (think “Goddamn Electric”), “This Threat Is Real” is a sure bet for the band’s live show. The Fear Factory-isms emerge on tracks like “Failed Creation,” “Impossible Is Nothing” and “Rise of The Scorned” as the clean vocal breaks and melodic choruses are bookended by rapid-fire drumming and Cazares’ lightning riff assault. Close your eyes and it is not hard to equate Vext’s vocal style to that of Burton C. Bell, either. The final song on BLEED THE FIFTH—“Closure”—is also the most troubling. It is almost as if a completely different band recorded this moping, Staind-like modern rock ballad and it is terribly out of place here. Diversity is one thing but “Closure” sticks out like a sore thumb.



BLEED THE FIFTH is a grower of an album, in that, the first listen or two does not yield much but after four or five spins, this sucker really starts to sink in. Yes, fans of Dino Cazares’ work in Fear Factory will have to open their minds a bit but there are still plenty of elements from that band present in Divine Heresy’s music. However, Cazares has done a fine job of creating a whole new entity that stands strongly on its own (plus, this finally washes the bad taste that was DIGIMORTAL out of everyone’s mouth). Having a drummer like Tim Yeung in the lineup certainly boosts its merit, as well. The songs are aggressive, memorable and, thankfully, devoid of any of the clichéd nonsense currently polluting the metal scene. Welcome back, Dino. It’s been far too long.



KILLER KUTS: “Bleed The Fifth,” “Failed Creation,” “This Threat Is Real,” “Rise of The Scorned,” “Royal Blood Heresy”
Track Listing

1. Bleed The Fifth
2. Failed Creation
3. This Threat Is Real
4. Impossible Is Nothing
5. Savior Self
6. Rise of The Scorned
7. False Gospel
8. Soul Decoded (Now and Forever)
9. Royal Blood Heresy
10. Closure

Lineup

Tommy Vext—Vocals
Dino Cazares—Guitar/Bass
Tim Yeung—Drums


Next review: » Divine Heresy - Bleed The Fifth
Previous review: » Divine Decay - Maximize the Misery

Divine Heresy
Bleed The Fifth
September 2007
Released: 2007, Century Media
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Simon Lukic

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.
Track Listing

Bleed the Fifth
Failed Creation
This Threat Is Real
Impossible Is Nothing
Savior Self
Rise of the Scorned
False Gospel
Soul Decoded (Now and Forever)
Royal Blood Heresy
Closure
Purity Defiled (Japanese bonus track)

Lineup

Tommy Vext – Vocals
Dino Cazares – Guitar (Bass on album)
Joe Payne – Bass
Tim Yeung – Drums


Next review: » Divine Heresy - Bringer of Plagues
Previous review: » Divine Decay - Maximize the Misery





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