Having discovered Darkness Divine at the start of the year supporting Black King Cobra (now there’s a contrast for you), it was immediately apparent how great they were as a live act despite their infancy. With several shows since to hone their skills, the Glasgow metallers have only gotten better and now their debut EP, Prelude, is ready for consumption.
Opening with “Digression” (you can read more about that in a rare single review), it’s the band planting their flag from the start to show what they’re all about. Condensing various styles into the one track, it works as an introduction for the band to expound with the rest of the EP.
“What We Want” has the quintet push themselves into a thrashier sound but ensure there’s a hearty measure of groove for good measure alongside melodic elements for Toni Benedetti-Martin’s vocals to show off her powerful range. Lacking the harsh growls found on “Digression”, it’s got a more radio-friendly sound and would make for a great single to lure in newcomers.
Massive drums from John Martin are prevalent throughout “The Wicked” and as Garry McNeill’s bass locks in with it alongside purposefully understated crunching guitars, you’ll be nodding along in no time. Sounding much more along the lines of a traditional heavy metal song as the guitars from Dave Fulton and Graeme McShane kick into life, you know they mean business. Whilst it does have a hefty gallop to it, you can’t help but wonder what it would sound like if it was even faster. Taking the shape of the EP’s ballad, “Misconstrued” shows the band know how to drop a gear and frames it into a hard rock band’s take on the concept.
Meanwhile, if you opt for the physical edition of the EP rather than the digital version, you’ll be treated to an extra couple of songs in the form of “Hyde” and “Swansong”. The latter is a year old and as you’d expect, slightly rougher around the edges but it’s a display of how the band have progressed and you’ll likely not want to skip out on it. The latter sees the band stripping everything back to show a metal band can deliver acoustically – which they manage to do effortlessly.
Prelude is an absolute joy to listen to as Darkness Divine show off their varying styles and influences but manage to tie it all together to give their own signature sound. Well-produced and played by skilled musicians, it’s the perfect EP for those looking for something a bit heavier without going extreme.
Prelude is released 7th September