Instrumental prog metal band Divinex is releasing their beautfiul bundle of stress (I know they’ve been working at this album for years now!) “Dreamscapes” on June 16th. They have gone through some lineup changes bringing back longtime guitariast James Millerd after being out of the band for a few years (Jon Davis was the other gutiarist until his return) and long time drummer Pat Cerino left as well. They didn’t have a bassist for years and recently snagged one! I’ve been following this band for years since the middle part of last decade and they have come a long, long way. They put out my favorite release of theirs “Create.Affect.Repeat.” in 2017 and through all the music I listen, review and check out I always come back to it. It had the virtuoso Angel Vivladi on one of the tracks, to boot. On this one, they got guitarist Adam from Arch Echo (young instrumental phenoms). They are a band built on flow from track to track. The EP was good from 2014 “Movement” but man, “CAR” has so many plays it’s got to be in the thousands or more by now from me personally. There’s a few interludes that keep the flow of the album and since that album cycle ended this one “Dreamscapes” is the follow up effort. Now after that brief synopsis of a band I truly adore, I will talk about this upcoming album I was privileged to listen to ahead of it’s release thanks to their guitarist Jay.
Simply put, Divinex is clearly inspired by progressive modern metal. Older prog fans probably won’t enjoy their style, but 30 somethings like myself and the younger crowd will. The guitar riffs aren’t always over the top by any means, but damn they’re so tasty and groovy. As a fellow guitarist I always look forward to the atmospheres they create, and of course their flavorful guitar solos. You also can’t count out the rhythms and drum work that keep this shred machine a full blown animal (A band with great guitar work isn’t anything unless there’s a great rhythm section, FACT!). Instrumental bands are insanely tough to sell to larger audiences (Animals As Leaders is a unique exception) but the ‘Nex always draws me in with their classic tapping harmonies and beautiful dream-like (see what I did there?) soundscapes. They have a knack of writing some technical leads, and also a lot of singable melodies in their guitar leads. It’s good to have the best of both worlds.
I’ll keep confessing my love for “Create.Affect.Repeat” and remember seeing countless shows of them playing material from that album well before it was released. Those songs I hold near to my heart for good reasons. “Dreamscapes” however is a whole other monster. I think it is just as atmospheric and well as the album title suggests dreamy. “Immortalize” will always be one of my favorite songs the band has ever written and is a long, long banger of a song. “”Event Horizon” is another long journey released before “Immortalize” from the EP, and there is a another mountainous song on this album as well. What I’ve always admired about Divinex is they may be perfectionists and take time between releases, but they pay attention to detail so well. Their songs are carefully crafted for a great listen for the casual listener and for musicians like myself to enjoy. It’s a treat for anyone who’s into this style of music and this band keeps evolving each release.
It’s honestly been cool to see this band grow up and evolve the way they have. I have seen them at various venues across Buffalo and Rochester, and hell even opened up for Chon (who isn’t active anymore sadly) as well. I even saw the band play in a basement! If I ever saw a band between Buffalo and Rochester that deserves some level of success it’s Divinex. The band has gone on the grind playing a good amount of shows, working hard on their releases and promoting their music.
The other cool part of being an instrumental band is random song names. You have titles like “CTRL+Z!”, “Presque Vu” , and “The Beach” which are cool as hell. The song titles could have personal meaning for all I know, but I always enjoy instrumental bands song titles for some odd reason. Divinex have improved upon their previous release and was impressed at the fact they outdid themselves on “Dreamscapes”. Yes, there’s some singing on this album as there was a bit on the track “Immortalize” that closed out the last effort.
“Dreamscapes” is another beautiful, melodic, moody effort from Divinex and honestly didn’t expect anything less from these guys. They’re a phenomenal group of musicians and are underrated for sure. I hope this review brings more eyes and ears to a stellar band and everyone enjoys this epic journey the band has created for our earholes. Don’t sleep on the band and their upcoming album “Dreamscapes” that drops next Friday June 16th! This album should be the anthem for your summer soundtrack!