Norwegian veterans Divided Multitude have been around for about twenty years now, playing progressive metal with a power metal touch, adding distinguished vocals in the style of Helloween's Andi Deris and Geoff Tate. Their 2015, self-titled release has come to life through an intensive crowd funding campaign, something that always makes me wonder why there is no label that wants to sign a solid band that has been around for so long. Nevertheless the album is finished and the band is touring with fellow countrymen Circus Maximus this year.
Divided Multitude's music has been influenced by bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X and other bands that can rely on their technical skills as well as on their ability to write catchy, though still intense and powerful songs. Divided Multitude however never reached the level of these bands, but credits have to be given for their persistence to continue producing music. Musically the band does a nice job with good compositions and keyboard parts that are nice and bombastic at points, laid back on other parts. A solid rhythm section that does a great job and a guitar player, that is to the point, without really standing out. On the album, vocalist Sindre Antonsen gets help from his band members on the majority of the songs, a wise decision, because there is something that disturbs me in his voice. By adding more vocals, the vocals tend to go into the direction of a band like Avantasia or even Shadow Gallery, but more metal orientated.
As guests on Divided Multitude the latter bands' lead vocalist Brian Ashland as well as Pyramaze's Terje Harøy joined to add their voices. Besides the normal voices, Divided Multitude adds some growls to their music, like during the opener Immortal which shows a different sound than we were used to before, as a trashy riff, borrowed from Dream Theater's debut album is accompanied by nice growls, something you either like or hate. I personally do appreciate this “new” direction but the majority of the songs are fine; solid, without really standing out. The obligated ballad Proud is OK and highlights Brian Asland, but only until the band adds the voices of their children in the end. Redefined also sees some growls, but also has a very nice combination of keyboards and guitars. The album's epic is the final composition; Seal Of Faith, a song that takes its time to get going and is saved by the multi-layered vocals.
The reason I wanted to review this album was that I came to listen to the album's opener. Never knowing the other songs would never stand up to this song. The regular Divided Multitude listener will certainly disagree with me, for those “other” songs were kind of standard for this Norwegian band. In the end their title-less album is no more than a solid progressive metal album, no real highlights, no absolute bummers.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2016