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DIVINE SOULS
DIVINE SOULS
The Bitter Selfcaged Man
(Scarlet Records)
38:26min

Sweden's DIVINE SOULS second full length CD "The Bitter Selfcaged Man" contains melancholic and emotional melodic Death à la IN FLAMES, SENTENCED, AT THE GATES and fulfils all standards of this genre quite well. There are those catchy guitar leads and harmonies any fan of this genre should love at instant. The vocals are mostly aggressive, but Matthias Lilja keeps them variable by whispering, like in 'Grief' and the Opener 'Empty Words' (which also includes an atmospheric piano) or by adding some clean parts, like in 'Divided'. Most songs on the album are performed in upper mid-tempo and although there are no great tempo changes "The Bitter Selfcaged Man" does not get boring, especially due to Mikael Lindgren's excellent guitar melodies, which dominate and characterise the DIVINE SOULS sound. His work creates the emotional intensity and powerful drive, that turn "The Bitter Selfcaged Man" into an entertaining listening pleasure, which positively differs from the mass of melodic Death Metal bands out there, because it is energetic and definitely done with heart. The only point for criticism melodic Death bands have to live with these days, is that they are not very innovative or original, but there are many bands I love just because of the fact that they do not sound new at all, but as much old school as possible. It does not matter if you are innovative or not, you have to be good... and DIVINE SOULS are. There is not a single weak song on the album and "The Bitter Selfcaged Man" does not wear out after the 6th time listening. So I can only recommend it as a great alternative to the new (awful) IN FLAMES CD and promise no fan of driving melodies mixed with honest aggression will be disappointed. Website: www.divinesouls.com.

Stefan Franke

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