Underground Spotlight: Divitius
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Djent and progressive metal are quickly becoming the big genres in the modern heavy metal scene; these styles bring a lot to the table in the way of creativity, atmosphere and technicality. Many bands have come to stand out from the pack, but some are still going relatively unnoticed despite immense talent. One such band is Portland’s Divitius.
Though the band has only released five songs (eight if you count the instrumental alternate versions) to the public and more are due out to round out their debut album, this female fronted powerhouse is well worth your attention. They bring the pain with gnashing riffs, sharp and doomy vocals, haunting synths and thunderous rhythms. Intrigued? Damn right you are! Let’s dive into what the band has out so far.
‘Ghost Hunter’ kicks things off in a big way with an industrial touch – think of a siren echoing through the vacuum of space mixed with glitching electronics. Least to say, I get a strong feeling of isolation before the guitars and drums kick in with a bone-crunching style. The pounding of the drums and the chugging riffs that follow blend perfectly with the synths before vocalist Alicen shrieks onto the scene. Just as her snarling vocals kick into gear I notice the guitars taking on a shreddy element. Things slow down for a moment with a shift in the riffs to a move chugging pace before diving back into the heavy stuff. The bass is prominently featured here and blends well with the intricate layers of the track. After six and half minutes all I can say is “wow!” From the chunky and often-times stunning riffs, the haunting synths, and borderline evil yet gorgeous vocal style of Alicen I’m hooked. That’s not even talking about the mind bending guitar solo or the sudden shift to an almost, for the lack of a better word, sci-fi section towards the end.
‘Lucid’ is the perfect name of this track. Starting off with fast picking and soothing synths followed shortly but sharp riffs, strong rhythm melancholy vocals and soaring leads, this one shows the bands versatility in every way. A great dependence on clean vocals and power metal-esque lead guitars quickly secure my attention while I get lost in the rhythm. To say the least, this song is simply captivating even without listening closely to the lyrics.
‘Deja Vu’ kicks you right in the ass at the onset; brutally heavy all around, this track is a real banger. The snarling vocals return and the gnarly riffs and a tight rhythm drive things hard, but the lead guitar and synths take command whenever given the opportunity and blend exceptionally well with the clean vocals about halfway through.
‘Serpent Skin’ starts with a strong horror element. Eerie synths draw you in through the darkness for a little over 30 seconds before shreddy guitars break through the veil of shadow. Things get real brutal, real fast with pounding drums and gnarly riffs. Once more, the bass is real prominent here and sounds through the assault that is the guitars and drums. The masterful use of synths really give the track a life of its own even without vocals. The wildly technical lead guitar will keep your guessing while the synths continue to haunt you from the background, and then there’s that guitar solo. Great Odin’s ravens is that a sick guitar solo! By the end of this track I had to check my face because I was sure Divitius melted it with their sound.
Putting this collection of tracks to rest is ‘Subconscious.’ Starting, strangely, with an almost classic rock style, things get heavy and technical fast. Another instrumental, this one is driven by the full force of the band. Everything hits its mark here from the thumping of the double bass pedal to the wailing leads and chunky riffs. About midway through things slow down a bit with a melodic guitar taking charge while being accompanied by the splash of the cymbals and some seriously hot licks. Strong rhythms, head spinning leads and plenty of intensity make for one hell of a finisher.
Divitius just crossed my radar and I am damn glad they did. This band is like nothing I’ve heard before. Blending djent, progressive, death and industrial metal into one awesome package is no easy task, but they pulled it off well. Mixing in a couple instrumentals with a couple of tracks lead by some seriously powerful female vocals make for some nice variety leaving very little to complain about here. The band not only rocks hard, but they’re versatile, technical and experimental. That’s everything I need in a progressive band, so it goes without saying that this album is going to be well worth the money once it’s completed and released.
Check out all of the songs reviewed HERE! at their official bandcamp