Guest record review: Divine Heresy, "Bleed the Fifth" (Century Media)


By Alex Distefano

Dino Cazares finally has a band that’s his to mold. A founding member of the seminal Fear Factory and Brujeria, the L.A.-area metal guitarist was also the main songwriter for Asesino, with Tony Campos of Static X. Now, with Divine Heresy, he’s created an amalgam of Sepultura/Pantera-style guitar riffs, sometimes boosted with Slayer-like speed and intensity, and locked into a techno/industrial sound field. It’s all spliced together with Tommy Vext’s aggressively scary throatsmanship and melodic/emotional vocal interludes.
Fear Factory and Brujeria may have kicked their respected axman to the curb (though the story might differ depending on whom you talk to), but both bands still make music that owes much to Cazares. And on “Bleed the Fifth,” he wastes no time showing what he’s still got --the title track starts the album like a new and meaner version of Fear Factory.
And the rest doesn’t slack off. “ Rise of the Scorned" begins with a clean acoustic intro highlighting Cazares’ virtuosity before blasting into a universe of grindcore madness. “Savior Self” sews At the Gates-style guitar riffs onto high-speed death-metal drumming reminiscent of Deicide. The vocals, meanwhile, make a complete 180 with melodic singing parts that would fit Killswitch Engage. It’s not an unnatural combination, since Cazares’ chunky rhythm-guitar work with Fear Factory laid the blueprint for modern metalcore bands such as Killswitch, Chimaira and All that Remains (not to mention their more danceable and rageoholic cousins Static X and Slipknot).
With Cazares on guitar and bass, Tim Yeung (from the insanely evil Vital Remains and Hate Eternal) on drums, and Vext on voice, Divine Heresy blast technical, fast and brutal grindcore death metal with a soft spot for melody. Cazares has managed to keep his integrity while writing catchy, even radio-friendly songs.