Since their formation in '05, The Undivine have released three smaller releases and two full-lengths. "Delusional Noise" is the group's currently newest album, and this is the first time I'm hearing their music.
Inverse labels this album as "death/thrash/tribalgroove," which greatly distracted me at first. The album indeed is based on a mixture of modern death metal's darkness and heaviness with some thrash-edge, and there's well enough of both underlaying and leading melodies to keep things interesting. The individual songs and the whole album have a good flow and lot of different influences and nuances, ranging from groove and thrash to even to black metal-esque bits. The vocalist's loud shouts, growls, clean vocals and other variances of making a noise are all strong and recongnizeable, and give the end result a lot of additional personality.
Along with the strong vocal section, one of the album's main attractions is the drummer Rainer Tuomikanto (known from many bands, such as Ajattara, Causemos and Kiuas) and his clearly skilled and lively way of playing. One could legitimately say that the drums outshine the guitars with ease since some of their riffs are so usual, making the band's sound seem a little imbalanced. The compositions are good, but the individual riffs range from pleasing to severely lacking ones - and the sleek guitar sound makes this effect seem even worse. Luckily the plump bass sound balances the guitars' thin sound.
Then, the part that gave the band the label of "tribalgroove." The riffs have some Soulfly-vibes here and there when they stray from the modern thrash-traditions and the snares occasionally mimic a tribal drum, but other than that there isn't really anything tribal here. "Satellite Monarchy" has a mid-part with bongos/djembe, but after that it takes all the way to the finishing nine-minute "Delusional Noise" to hear them again.
The ninth track is something of a campfire-song at first; atmospheric humming with tribal beats, jew's harp, metal scrap noises and gloomy acoustic guitars. The song's mid-part has some electric guitars and growls, but other than that, this is just an extended outro-track. The song is a really stylish, skillful and atmospheric piece that's nice to listen to, but it's length makes it feel external to the eight previous songs. It also makes me wonder if the band is to employ this acoustic side further in the future, either as a more visible part of the compositions or in the form of some acoustic release.
The visual side is a bore; a dim figure holds his bloody head in the cover, and that's pretty much the most vivid thing you'll see in the booklet unless you count in the band photos. The lyrics are written from an insane or otherwise deranged perspective, and deal with issues of being persecuted, will to kill, free will, soul, a human's worth and apocalyptic visions. It's a bit difficult to grasp what the lyrics are going for at some points, but I guess it fits the theme of a somehow twisted consciousness and related philosophical ponderings.
The Undivine offers quality rocking metal with a modern touch and various influences, so if that's your cup of tea, you might want to check 'em out. I'd still give the band some more time to further refine and tighten their concept and to achieve a more original sound and style of composing, and to figure out where they're going with the tribal elements. A really promising album from a band that hasn't yet perfected their craft.