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Divine Eve - As the Angels Weep
Review: During the proliferation of any artform, some artists will find evolutionary niches and occupy them permanently. Divine Eve picked up on the dirge-like tendencies of early Swedish death metal, and borrowing guitar sound and musical devices from that genre, created a hybrid between American doom metal and the rockish death metal of second-album Entombed. Underlying this outward picture are two internal abilities, the first of which is the capacity for writing mid-paced hustling death metal riffs in a charging cadence like Cianide, and the second is the incorporation of a NWOBHM-style melodic sense that would not be out of place on first-album Cathedral.
Guitars surge forth in standard power chord form exclusively, giving this EP a uniformity that emphasizes its configurations and melodic aspects; lead rhythm guitars emphasize with fills and harmonizations some of the more out-of-the-way patterns. Like Entombed, they select a rhythm for its continuative and not expectative possibilities, and ride it through choruses, terminating in an extension of melody. In a more doom-oriented perspective, verses tend to trudge in a dead-mans-hand cadence while offtime vocals casually interject hoarse syllables of rising rhythmic intensity. Distortion is vintage Sunlight Studio, bass distortion is detonative in the style of Brutal Truth, and vocals are the hoarse but slightly prolonged enunciation that would fit later Vincent-era Morbid Angel.
The power of this music is its grasp of rhythms that, as if emulating the walk of a person with focused mind and goal in sight, drive forward in marginally increasing mathematics but by maintaining a drive allow the band to augment it through repetition, in the classic doom style gaining intensity through ongoing ambience; layers fall together slowly and in the cycling re-iteration become both more normalized and prominent. Without the backing layer of mid-paced riffs that are equally Swedish and American, this band might fall prey to its disadvantages, which are periodically frenetic changes that make enough sense but not enough listener impact, and the somewhat amelodic nature of many faster riffs plus the generally repetitive nature of dirges. However, what pulls this band together is its sensibility of rhythm matching melody, and this even transcends its Swede-worshipping roots; it is a tribute to its power that this EP feels too short when it has concluded.