Darkness Divided advertises themselves as a metal band from San Antonio, TX and while purists may cry foul and label them as metalcore, they do bring more to their sound than the typical metalcore that so many of us have grown tired. At this point, Darkness Divided has released two singles, “Redeemer” and “Yoyager” after this ep and in those one can hear their sound maturing and perhaps shifting more toward the metal side of metalcore, which is a good thing.
Darkness Divided formed in 2010 as a four-piece band containing three brothers and ever since then have played shows with a number of well-known bands, even ending up on the bill for one of the Scream the Prayer Tours (STP III). Often one can learn a lot about a band by who they are playing shows with and the most recent Darkness Divided date was earlier in May (2013) when they played a show on The Hard and Relentless Tour with Saving Grace, Those Who Fear, and Ark of the Covenant, some of the better known Facedown Records bands. Musically, the first thing I noticed was the voice of Gerard Mora. Seeing a picture of him, one certainly would never expect the powerful deep voice, which is somewhat cool as so much of music over the years is all about fashion and appearance, so I appreciate those who don’t fit the mold. As for vocal style, it is what one would expect from the metalcore genre deep, guttural screaming/barking emotion-filled vocals, but to their defense, these wouldn’t be out of place on some more traditional newer metal albums, for instance, somewhat similar to J. Costa (Thy Will Be Done).
As one would expect given the metalcore-like sound, there are certain elements in the songs on the ep that one would expect as they are part of the “metalcore formula”. One can expect more than a few chugging breakdowns, some spoken vocals, and some clean vocals. More true to the “metal” label though, Darkness Divided does have less of the clean singing and spoken parts than even bands like As I Lay Dying. As comparing new bands to existing bands is something I always find helpful in reviews I read about new bands, I would liken Darkness Divided to a blend of For Today and a band like Thy Will Be Done. To me, much of the sound of similar bands is mostly chugging breakdowns and guitarists playing in drop-A, which is heavy in sound but often ends up muddy-sounding and somewhat indistinct. Guitars are a strong suit in Darkness Divided with Christopher James Mora providing some excellent, approaching technical/thrash metal riffs from time to time and not just trying to play heavy plodding breakdowns. This is one of the features of their sound which caught my ear and helps differentiate Darkness Divided from other bands in the genre. Riffs and verses are often faster than I expected and when the tempo picks up, they come into their own and hit their stride. Lyrics are unabashedly Christian, addressing even heavy topics about hitting the bottom and realizing that God is right there with you. From the song “Confusion”, the question is asked, “when it’s all gone, how will you live?” and then later in the song… “I have seen the greatness of the Lord, forget my plans, I now live for Yours”.
The Chronicles (ep) was produced by Daniel Castleman (Impending Doom, War of Ages, As I Lay Dying) and even though done as an independent, is certainly of the quality that one would expect to hear from anything on Facedown Records. In fact, the unknowing listener could probably be convinced rather easily that this is a new Facedown Records band, as they do have some of that “sound”. Darkness Divided also had Castleman mix and master their latest single “Redeemer” which shows an evolution in sound away from the more typical metalcore into something more. Yes, the Chronicles ep is metalcore and that label can carry a lot of negative connotations, but Darkness Divided do bring some variety to the sound that is a bit out of the norm and their latest singles show a further progression in sound that makes them a band worth checking out.
Gerard Mora – Vocals
Christopher James Mora – Guitar
Israel Hernandez – Drums
Joseph Mora – Bass
Record Label: Independent, May 2012
Free download of the new single “Voyager” Click Here.
Lyric video below for “Confusion”