Someone once said, “All good things must come to an end” and metalcore heroes Darkness Divided are calling it a day, but going out in style with an upcoming tour an an ep of new songs that will be The End of It All…for the band.
In roughly eight years, the San Antonio band Darkness Divided have established themselves as one of the top metalcore bands and to my ears have been able to differentiate themselves in the genre primarily through the strength of the guitar work and vocals and by not relying solely on the established songwriting elements of the genre. In the beginning the band was a four piece of the three Mora brothers, Gerard (vocals), Chris (guitars), and Joseph (bass) along with Israel Hernandez on drums. Over the years, lineups changed but all three brothers remained involved. For the ep, Gerard and Joseph are in their established roles but guitars and backing/secondary vocals are now handled by Sebastian Elizondo and drums were recorded by a friend of the band, Juan Hinojosa covering for Hayden Allen. As a band, recording the ep was a bit of a different process as the band members all have full time jobs, so everything was done in parts with production handled by Mora brother Chris at War Horse Recordings.
The ep kicks off with the “World You Burn”, also the first video released by the band. The intro is slow and ominous sounding and establishes a tension that is immediately broken by a furious growl and machine gun paced drumming and guitars. The verses make good use of silence with Gerard barking out the vocals to a fast drum beat with guitars coming in with short, fast riffs. The song itself is a bit darker in tone and feel that some of the band’s previous work and is a bit reminiscent of later As I Lay Dying. What has always struck me about Darkness Divided is how well their clean vocals fit within the songs and how musically complex their sound is and this song reinforces that.
“Souls of the Lost” continues the heavy, darker tone with a great opening riff that carries through much of the song and supported very well by Juan Hinojosa’s drum work. This song is a bit of a departure from previous work by the band with its slower pace, darker tone and heavier feel without the underlying sense of melody that the band usually has in their songs. Fittingly, there are no clean vocals in this track as well, which one would think would stand out but I didn’t notice for quite a few listens, a testament to how well the song works.
On “Humanity’s Loom” the band returns to a sound closer what one would expect but changing things up a bit here as well as the clean vocals dominate. Sebastian and Gerard share the vocal duties in this track and the vocals are really a highlight. The contrast between the smooth clean vocals and the growled shouting works really well. The song also highlights the strength of the guitars in the band as well. I’ve always been struck by the guitars in Darkness Divided songs and I think the reason is that they have a traditional, maybe old-school, metal feel to them, both riffs and solos, which tends to differentiate their overall sound from others in the genre. As a first, the band has included an instrumental, “Overture of the End” which further showcases not only the great guitar work of Sebastian Elizondo but also highlights the drum work again of Juan Hinojosa and also the band’s ability to incorporate other elements like keyboards into their songs.
The ep closes out with “The Sacrifice”, which has a great guitar riff in the opening and overall the song sounds a lot like something from old Killswitch Engage and would be the song on the ep that sound most like something off of their last album (self-titled). For the ep, the band set up a gofundme page as they couldn’t set up an independent store, and those who donated were gifted a cover version of the Kansas classic “Dust in the Wind” and the song is good enough to recommend participation in the crowdfunding campaign just so you can get it. The track is filled with great guitars and the slower quieter parts with the clean vocals carry a lot of power and convey a lot of emotion. Throughout the track there are the clean vocal lines that really convey the sense and feel of the original song. It really is just a great track.
Darkness Divided are bowing out as a band but are leaving fans with a collection of new songs and a great cover track that highlight what has made the band stand out from their peers.
Written by John Jackson
1. World You Burn
2. Souls of the Lost
3. Humanity’s Loom
4. Overture of the End (instrumental)
5. The Sacrifice
Bonus track for GoFundMe contributors : Dust in the Wind
Gerard Mora – Vocals
Sebastian Elizondo – Guitar/Vocals
Joseph Mora – Bass
Hayden Allen – Drums
Record Label: Independent, March 2018
Video for ‘World You Burn’