The Fallen Divine – The Binding Cycle (Indie Recordings)

Norway’s finest unlabelled metal.
Release Date: 
18 May 2012 - 12:30pm

This came completely out of the blue. The Fallen Divine recorded an EP (which no one noticed) and an album called the Binding Cycle. Condemned to be interred into the dust of forgetfulness, Indie Recordings discovered this gem and bring them to light from the obscurity of the independent path… and what a hell of an album!!!!!

Produced and engineered by Andy LaRocque and Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö, this album is a real surprise for those who seek original sounds.

Dissention, the first track, is an epic track which mixes progressive, power, and melodic death metal, with a handful of tempo changes and a harsh black metal vocal. It sounds confusing and it is! Plentiful of solos and harmonies that will hit the hearts of those who cannot have enough of neverending musical inflexions, it’s hard to keep up with the sound once they change it in the end of every tiny phrase. It’s a confusing though rewarding experience.

Shades of Oppression presents us with some Opeth-esque acoustic guitars although the comparisons cease there. There's more soloing to melt the faces of the unaware, however. 

Up to this point, one starts to perceive a lack of engagement with one particlular style and the band starts to miscegenate with every style of metal that is possible. Lack of identity? Perhaps a lack of experience, but hell, they are musicians on the top of their games, and every sin is forgiven by magisterial passages and musical digressions. It’s simply a matter of letting the music flow through your ears, meandering and strolling. Even the more melodic and foreseeable numbers won’t let you down, such is the level of engagement these guys have with their music.

There are no highlights, for the highlights are the passages prowling in every stage of each song. Some are even inconclusive like Northern Lights (the most confusing in my opinion), but none the less marvellous. The drummer Alex Stebbing seems particularly possessed in this one. The band can’t stop the variations! A flute effect (which brings to the forefront some unspoken folk influence) gives way to the double kicking of a packed melodic death/black act… Even the bass has its moments of glory and here goes with an important observation: The bass lines doesn’t obey the guitars and aren’t merely figurative in this CD. It sounds like Butler was invited to create them...

Replenished seems an upbeat melodic version of some Finnish folk band like Turisas for example, but with that Maiden feeling to it. It’s trad heavy. It’s folk. It’s melodic black. It’s unutterable!

The frenzied song The Tormented One (what a suitable name) opens the track to the grand finale: The title-track… A sad piano gradually opens the way to a heavy/black sound and the song keeps chugging to and fro, sometimes appealing to ultra heavy guitars, sometimes seeking refuge in melodic and intimate parts, it’s crazy to say at least. The acoustic guitar in the end leaves the path open to a continuation… sounds like, we’ll be back mofos, be aware!

This album is a punch in the face of bands that call themselves avant-guarde metal. It’s original without appealing to alien styles of rock/heavy music.  It’s crazy and it smells of success. I’d be more than content to point to these kids at the metal hall of fame in years to come and utter: I said it first!