Up-and-coming band Darkness Divided come into their own with the release of their debut album, on Victory Records, Written in Blood. The band signed to Victory Records earlier this year, and wasted no time jumping into the studio with Cory Brunneman (frontman of Through Arteries). While promoting the release of this record, Darkness Divided put out the single “A Well Run Dry”, and also premiered the music video for “The Hands That Bled” on Vevo. Now, with their album available to the public, what does this five-piece from San Antonio have to offer the listener? Keep reading for the full review….
The album opens with the instrumental track “Severance,” which leads directly into “The Shepherd’s Hands.” The song opens full-force with an extremely heavy, As I Lay Dying-esque metal riff that blends into Gerard Mora’s (vocals) unrestrained screams. The next two tracks, “The Hands That Bled” and “A Well Run Dry,” feature some of the band’s best work, combining intricate guitar riffs, blasting drums, and melodic vocals. Back-to-back solos from guitarists Sebastian Elizondo and Chris Mora on “The Hands That Bled” showcase their undeniable talent, and part of what makes this group stand out. The band also had this to say about the meaning behind the track:
Jesus Christ has felt our pain, and he died to heal our pain. Find comfort in love and be inspired to spread it to others. You never know what people are going through. You might just give someone the little hope they need to move on from their struggle. May God bless us all.
Written in Blood progresses into another instrumental track “The Descent,” which then transitions into “Eternal Thirst.” These tracks carry the signature Darkness Divided sound that they’ve developed through previous releases, such as their EP Chronicles. Though, this record shows the band’s maturity and their hard work through the years. Songs like “Withering Kingdom,” and “The Hands That Bled” highlight one of the band’s greatest asset: Sebastian Elizondo. With his recent addition into Darkness Divided, the band gained a formidable vocalist that has produced, in my opinion, some of 2014’s best melodies. Frontman Gerard Mora also demonstrates his talents with a varying range of high and low pitch screams that are often layered over one another, producing a strong verbalization of what the band believes in. Their lyrics, and ministry, reflect the band’s underlying belief in the Gospel and what they believe in.
Shape us with Your hands / That built the Earth from grains of sand
Creator of Life / Renew the Earth You came to save
One of the more redeeming qualities about Darkness Divided is their unwavering commitment to authentic music. Whereas many other bands are relying more and more heavily on technology for interesting tunes, Darkness Divided remains founded on insane guitar riffs and powerful vocals. The band does use some added effects, but only to their advantage, and are never used to carry a song. This foundation maintains its intrigue through the fusion of various genres including metal, metalcore, and hardcore. Even so, the band has infused their own zest and style into the music with distinct guitar licks that can only be attributed to Darkness Divided. Take In The Midst of Lions for example; they used interesting guitar scales/melodies that were instantaneously recognizable. In the same way, the musicians of Darkness Divided create some unforgettable music that only adds to their signature sound.
Written in Blood ends on an anthemic note, with Elizondo leading the chant to God in a fitting ending for the record. Having known the band personally I can say that the men in Darkness Divided have put in years of hard work, and they’ve dedicated their lives to a band that they refer to as their “ministry.” This record not only symbolizes a milestone achievement, but a way of letting the world know that they are here to stay. Pick up Written in Blood on iTunes, and catch them in a city near you.
For fans of For Today, August Burns Red, Adestria, Fit For A King.