'Divergences' is the debut release from Progressive Metalcore quintet 'Damned Spring Fragrantia' from Parma, Italy. It is a brutal, intense and exciting album and completely unrelenting across all ten tracks. My initial impression was and still is after several listens, a very positive one.
As first albums go this is an impressive and ambitious first release,. A very technical, down-tuned offering with strong progressive/math elements in the sound and savagely intense from end to end. The mix of the complex layered riffs, frenetic drum work and elaborate timing is a total assault on your senses.
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I was very surprised to find that the album is close to an hour long. I was so engrossed in its intricacies that I was oblivious of just how much time had passed during my first listen.
Lyrical inspiration for the songs comes from addressing a range of personal struggles, such as the human fight against fate and society's ills. I enjoyed all the elements of the album, guitars, drums and vocals, which were powerful and harsh. If I had to put a critical slant on the lyrics then a little more inflection would improve them further.
I thought every track was good but a few really stood out. 'The Obsidian Fate' for its catchy groove and repeat riff that really complements the more intense down-tuned elements. 'Pariah', which features Heart In Hand vocalist Charlie Holmes and is possibly slightly less complex, with a very slight drop in the tempo and intensity compared to some of the other tracks. Also having the extra vocalist added a lot of variety and interest to the overall sound. The complex repeat riff in the opening minute of 'Drowned in Cyan' was almost hypnotic with emotive intonation to the riffs towards the end.
'The Refusal Effect' is almost melodic in places, I loved this track for the sheer range of elements combined within its construct The final track 'Heritage' which has an intro that builds and builds and is of almost hypnotic quality repeating a riff, the layers of sound becoming more intense as it progresses for a great album ender.
The band take their inspiration from The Acacia Strain and Despised Icon, combined with the fundamental sound of Meshuggah so if you are into those bands you may well finds this an interesting listen. I think 'Divergences' is a first rate debut release.