For those of you who wanted FEAR FACTORY to do a metalcore album, then this one is for you. Dino Cazares is moving forward with DIVINE HERESY to further make his stamp on the metal scene. Ever present is the machine-like interplay between drums and guitar like you would find on any FEAR FACTORY release, and the music is extremely aggressive as one would expect. FEAR FACTORY references aside, the band has some talent in its own right. Tim Yeung (VITAL REMAINS) performs the drums with expert precision, while Dino handles both guitar and bass for the recording and Tommy Vext rounds out their sound on vocal duties. Although Dino‘s songwriting has always contained some start-stop rhythms to help define his writing style, it is obvious that his creative contributions this time around to DIVINE HERESY‘s Bleed the Fifth attempt to garner the support of the metalcore crowd with breakdowns and clean vocal choruses. Tommy Vext sounds like a proficient vocalist in his own right, but the clean vocal sections seem dramatically out of place in most songs on this album. Such misplaced melody is most poignant on the ballad “Closure,” which comes off as completely contrary to the album’s emotional release. Vext‘s yells are very well performed throughout the album despite occasionally coming off as a second rate Burton Bell, and it feels as though Bleed the Fifth would be much more focused if Vext did not switch vocal styles for what seems to be the sake of either being more commercial or emulating FEAR FACTORY. Although the metalcore influences feel tired in a scene where such songwriting has become nearly ubiquitous, there are a number of excellent, aggressive tracks such as the title track, “Failed Creation,” and “Impossible is Nothing.” The song “Savior Self” is especially excellent, but it is probably the worst offender in terms of sounding like a FEAR FACTORY B-side.
Ultimately, Bleed the Fifth has moments of very impressive songwriting and performance. However, it is imperative that Dino and his DIVINE HERESY co-conspirators expand their influences and songwriting to move out of FEAR FACTORY‘s shadow. While adding metalcore to the mix may gain immediate mainstream fan attention, it only helps ensure that DIVINE HERESY are more likely a trend to pass in the night rather than a steadfast metal stalwart who could remain as a force to be reckoned with. (Century Media Records)