DIVINE HERESY
"Bleed the Fifth"

(Century Media)

01. Bleed the Fifth
02. Failed Creation
03. The Threat is Real
04. Impossible is Nothing
05. Savior Self
06. Rise of the Scorned
07. False Gospel
08. Soul Decoded (Now and Forever)
09. Royal Blood Heresy
10. Closure

RATING: 8/10

FEAR FACTORY and BRUJERIA co-founder Dino Cazares is about to kick the world's ass on his own terms as guitarist/bassist for an explosive vehicle called DIVINE HERESY. Enlisting the services of super drummer Tim Yeung (HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS), and versatile vocalist Tommy Vext, Cazares went about the business of making a debut album that wreaks havoc right out of the starting gate and doesn't stop until all have fallen.

The syncopated rhythmic blasts of FEAR FACTORY are matched with modern death/thrash riffs, while the songwriting is memorable on the more purely aggressive material and downright infectious on the tracks that feature melodic clean vocals. Yeung's battering ram drumming, Cazares' distinctive/destructive riffing that often does remind of FF, and Vext's PANTERA/PISSING RAZORS extreme vocals by themselves would have made for an ass-kicker of an album (check out "The Threat is Real" and "False Gospel" for good examples). But it is when the act incorporates clean vocals and catchy choruses into songs like "Failed Creation", "Impossible is Nothing", "Savior Self", and "Rise of the Scorned" that "Bleed the Fifth" becomes a complete album that maintains momentum and keeps the listener's attention. The Burton C. Bell comparison on the clean vocal parts will be inevitable, but mainly because of Cazares' FEAR FACTORY pedigree, rather than pure style cloning.

The fact of the matter is that blending the extreme with the melodic is well done on "Bleed the Fifth". Even on "Closure", during which the harshness is largely removed and Vext maintains a melodic style throughout, the results are strong, even if it sounds like it was written in a STAIND-liked fashion to allow for potential crossover appeal. In short, it's a good song too. Above all else, "Bleed the Fifth" is one tough son of a bitch that may still have you humming melodies long after you've ejected the disc.

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