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DIVINE EVE
DIVINE EVE
Upon These Ashes Scorn The World
(Iron Tyrant Records)
38:49min

Although Death Metal may once again be fashionable, contemporary acts (with the exception of only a few) often seem more intent on merely creating (often simply imitating) a sound rather than crafting a well-conceived song with dynamic parts while also constructing their own sound. In the early 1990s, however, DIVINE EVE demonstrated that both of these components are crucial and their work displays their tremendous proficiency on both fronts. Because of how sorely overlooked this band is, there are likely many people who know little more about Texas' DIVINE EVE than the band name. After hearing the brilliance of these recordings, however, one realizes that ignorance of their work is unforgivable. For those who find themselves in this category, Iron Tyrant's recent vinyl reissue of "Upon These Ashes Scorn The World" offers an opportunity to delve deeply into this band's catalog. Even for those who have been praising their work for years, this reissue is nonetheless a necessary addition to their collections as it marks the first time the material featured on this compilation has been committed to vinyl. "Upon These Ashes Scorn The World" was originally released on CD by Proscriptor's Tarot Productions label. Like that CD, this LP compiles everything the first incarnation of this obscure band did during its short existence (the band was dissolved in 1995, but reformed in 2008 and has since recorded a handful of tracks for two EP releases). The first four tracks all come from the band's 1992 "The Last Of The Sunset Faded" demo that was later re-released in 1993 by Nuclear Blast as a MCD with the title "As The Angels Weep." Following these tracks is a CELTIC FROST cover ('Visions Of Mortality') which is among the finest and most reverent CELTIC FROST covers that any band has accomplished, and it demonstrates DIVINE EVE's passionate devotion to the masters. The remainder of the LP collects a track DIVINE EVE recorded for inclusion on the "Death Is Just The Beginning" compilation as well as the "Promo '94" demo that was released prior to the band's initial demise. It seems clear that DIVINE EVE's most overt influence is HELLHAMMER / CELTIC FROST, but to dismiss this band as a mere clone would be a severe error. Like CELTIC FROST, DIVINE EVE specialize in driving, primitive, and dark Death Detal punctuated by passages of ominous doom, but DIVINE EVE fold into this formula the more extreme developments in underground Metal that took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although they frequently depend upon the mid-paced gallop so intrinsic to the CELTIC FROST sound, DIVINE EVE also incorporate into their work furious blasts of extreme and chaotic violence more akin to late 1980s Grindcore. This sound reflects the band's adherence to the classic approach while simultaneously raising it to new levels of intensity. In this way, DIVINE EVE represent a sort of "missing link" in the evolutionary trajectory of Death Metal. DIVINE EVE vacillate with ease between the disparate parts of their songs. They demonstrate that, for skilled songwriters, sometimes the best transition between these parts is no transition at all. DIVINE EVE are masters at instantly changing the tempo and structure of the songs in a way that is jarring and engaging at the same time. A prime example of this methodology is presented in the track 'As The Angels Weep' where the band begins slow, catatonic riff and steadily raise the intensity of the song by jolting the listener into progressively more energetic parts until the song is a frenetic display of carnage. In addition to the songwriting, what unifies these songs is the sound of the instruments. The coarse guitars and brittle distorted bass are fused to create essentially one dense layer of sound while the drums provide the raging pulse of the tracks. This LP edition features all of the same songs that were included on the original CD version and comes presented in an excellent gatefold jacket with new artwork and layout. There is a colored vinyl collector's edition available directly from Iron Tyrant Records that includes a poster and second LP featuring a 12" version of the recent "Vengeful And Obstinate" EP. This vinyl reissue underscores the importance of these nearly forgotten recordings and unearths them from the catacombs in which they have remained for years. www.irontyrant.net

Jason Campbell

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DIVINE EVE
DIVINE EVE
Upon These Ashes Scorn The World
(Tarot Productions)
38:31min

Some bands were born to disappear at an early stage... and few of those bands are capable of having a legacy that will make an impact in the distant future. Well, that is the case for this Texans Death mongers. This is a collection of most of their material recorded, including their debut EP released by Nuclear Blast (in a very limited edition I am afraid), their apparitions in a few tribute compilations, and a never released EP. What makes this band to have such an underground cult status? That is easy: their style for the time to be. For an American band, they sounded way too Swedish (and here I am referring to NIHILIST, CARNAGE, GOD MACABRE and so on) and had a huge CELTIC FROST influence. Yes, their Death Metal was more based on the doomy heavy-pounding style, with a few short burst of speed to make it more interesting and powerful vocals (which always reminded me of GOD MACABRE or a more growling Tom G. Warrior). Besides a mandatory CELTIC FROST cover, there's also a SODOM cover (which I cannot see as a huge influence, but it is enjoyable anyway). The overall packaging is fantastic, including notes by band members, and they have done a very nice job at the sound, making everything sound even, although for a compilation it is obvious there's difference between the productions, but it went along really fine. It is that crunchy guitar sound that makes this to have an identity on their own, no matter how strong the influences were. This was a band that sounded powerful going mid-tempo or fast, and although most riffs will sound to you familiar (even back then) the way they were used, had a great result no headbanger could resist. On some historical aspects, after the recording of the unreleased EP and some few shows, the band divided and then the vocalist released what was supposed to be the debut album under the CRIMSON RELIC moniker, but with very poor sales (although very good music, worthy to track down). If you are into the early obscure Swedish Death Metal, or you worship CELTIC FROST this is not only an important piece of musical mysticism, but a way to pay tribute to a band that although short lived, created morbid Death Metal the way it should be. For Tarot (the label owned by Proscriptor of ABSU fame) a recognition for bringing this Metal which deserves to be heard. Essential. www.tarotproductions.com, www.myspace.com/divineeve

Julián Núńez

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