The Burning Passion - DIVINE RAPTURE

Here's the solution: maybe death metal needs to take some time out from itself, perhaps the equivalent of a holiday in hell. Because if we hear one more band that sounds like a) MORBID ANGEL b) CANNIBAL CORPSE or c) MORBID ANGEL and CANNIBAL CORPSE, we're going to scream. And we don't mean for the devil — we mean as in scream the friggin' walls down.

Initial signs weren't good with U.S. deathsters DIVINE RAPTURE (who, coincidentally appear on a Necropolis Records MORBID ANGEL tribute). Earthshaking whammy-bar album intro "The Kindling" runs headlong into the usual cough-down-a-drainpipe vocals, typewriter drums and butterfly riffs of "Your Time has Come". Technically proficient but largely soulless.

But then, somewhat mysteriously, things start to perk up halfway through the album. Around about track seven, "Funeral Mist", the riffs actually start to take on some character and identity of their own, with "Affliction of Faith" further cranking up the quirk factor through some wickedly deranged solos. Right before suitably spooky outro "The Smothering" brings things to a close, "No Future, No Past" mixes production techniques with yet more bizarre riffs to create a real twisted little ditty.

So, who do they sound like? MORBID ANGEL, of course. You can burn the first half of their album, but there's sufficient passion and style otherwise to prevent you from bawling down that brickwork.

Caption goes here