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Divine Heresy - Bleed the Fifth

Label: Century Media
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat

Ooh la la. This is a marvelous CD and an awesome return to form.


If you were not aware, Divine Heresy marks Dino Cazares' formal return to 'mainstream' metal after his controversial and explosive departure from Fear Factory - of which he was a founding member and leading figure in the scene. After his public departure from Fear Factory, Mr. Cazares seemed to fall off the metal map. (OK, OK, being a member of Brujeria and founding Asesino probably means he never really left but how many of you are actually familiar with his involvement there? Not to mention, Brujeria and Asesino are seemingly far removed from what Divine Heresy delivers.)

Divine Heresy is a triumphant return of one of the more notable and influential metal guitarists. There is no question that Mr. Cazares' guitar work with Fear Factory inspired and spawned so many of the bands that are in the scene today. Given these facts, you will forgive me if my comparisons to Fear Factory overpopulate this review.

The opening salvo of 'Bleed the Fifth' may lead the listener into thinking we are plunging into a death metal album reminiscent of say, Zyklon or Myrkskog. The drumming is intense, the sound is claustrophobic, the guitar solo sounds like something from Nile - all these elements point to a strong debut and a move away from the past. Yet, listen to 'Failed Creation' and tell me you do not hear echoes of Fear Factory in there. Mr. Cazares' guitar tone is unmistakable. The drumming, courtesy of Tim Yeung, has a remarkable resemblance to Raymond Herrera's but this should not be used against Divine Heresy as any form of criticism. You need blastbeats of this caliber for what Mr. Cazares is offering the listener. Think of Fear Factory jamming with Hate Eternal and you will fully understand what we are talking about.

'This Threat is Real' has the trademark stomp that Mr. Cazares brought to (and probably trademarked) Fear Factory (with) back in the day (It almost seems to be a musical reply to Fear Factory's song 'Cyberwaste' from "Archetype".) 'Impossible is Nothing' is so "Demanufacture"-like it is almost eerie until you realize that this is Dino Cazares at his finest. The pacing, the guitar work, the singing style of newbie Tommy Vext (which has a similar timbre to Burton C. Bell's vocal capabilities), all point to a song that would not sound out of place in that context.

The destructive path continues with 'Savior Self', a fast adrenaline inducing number, which is also my favorite song, which would not be out of place with much of Fear Factory's back catalogue. I mean, check out that awesome break down right after the chorus is sung, holy cow. Mr. Cazares' guitars simply piledrive on this song.

I don't know if this was intentional on Mr. Cazares' part but these songs are so Fear Factory but I can't help but wonder if Divine Heresy is not a statement to Fear Factory fans about who really was the creative pulse in Mr. Cazares' former band. Either that or Mr. Cazares is feeling very nostalgic about his former band.

Divine Heresy should not be thought of as a Fear Factory wannabe, primarily because Mr. Cazares is the key figure responsible. I think it defies logic to be considered a copycat of yourself (although, music history buffs will recall an issue with Creedence Clearwater Revival suing their former vocalist and founding member for copycatting type behavior). Divine Heresy demonstrates that Mr. Cazares can still deliver a very influential sound and destructive record.

Being a fan of Fear Factory, I am very happy to hear this release. If you like "Demanufacture"-era Fear Factory, I strongly recommend you pick up this release - you will not be disappointed. As such I have always dug Mr. Cazares' guitar work and hoped he would return one day to this distinctive style. One might be inclined to think, given the intensity and destructive power of Divine Heresy's debut, that this is a challenging shot across the bow of Mr. Cazares' former band. Which leads me to wonder what will happen next… Mr. Cazares, welcome back.

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