Dark Divinity finally unveils their debut album.
Formed in 2017 in New Zealand, the band had previously released an EP in 2020. Following some lineup changes, Ian Moir (drums, Into Orbit), Paul Stewart (guitar/bass, Into Orbit) and Jiji Aligno (guitar, ex-Barang) hired Jesse Wheeler (vocals) to finalize and announce the release of Unholy Rapture in 2022.
The album opens with Exegesis, a first track made of raw rage which immediately reveals the energetic Thrash roots as well as the jerky Death Melodic basis, while letting the devastating vocals parts a great place. The track is extremely effective, just like the heavy Subterfuge, a composition which allows the musicians to use slightly more technical and airy elements in these melancholic leads which are sometimes anchored on a super-powerful blast. Blood On The Altar remains on this extremely aggressive and massive approach coupled with softer lead parts which come to contrast with the track’s darkness, then The Seer offers rather martial Heavy influences in the rhythmic to accompany this surge of fury. The band sets its riffs on fire again for Forbidden, a track shaped for the stage which puts sharp sounds and the massive vocal parts forward, but we will also notice a short lull before a wild solo which drives us to the final, then Excarnation offers us a short moment of respite with this disturbing interlude. Rage comes to life again on Left For Dead, a song with frantic and dissonant riffs which perfectly let the musicians’ aggressiveness and the vocalist’s strength shine through. Lead parts bring a part of dissonance, then Cadavers reveals more impressive and epic tones. They also feed the heavy atmosphere to this majestic and yet quite oppressive track which continues with the long Mist Of Old, a composition with a haunting introduction. But quietness won’t last and the riffs will ignite again, then welcome chaotic elements on the final, which will give way to The Nothing, the album’s last track, which comes back on very effective jerky riffs to nod while enjoying this obvious aggressiveness. Special mention to this oppressive and dark final.
Change is sometimes good, and Dark Divinity uses it as its strength. The first EP was an excellent surprise, and although it changes slightly its direction, Unholy Rapture continues on its chosen path which mixes aggressiveness and mastery. I can’t wait to see how far the band can push their concept.