Death metal band Divine Empire was formed by several veterans of the US
death metal scene (and Malevolent Creation in particular). The act soon
toured with the likes of Gorguts, Emperor and Cryptopsy. Redemption was
recorded in August of 1997 after the band signed with Olympic
on the strength of a home-made demo tape.
The momentum was slowed down by departing drummers and the
of Blachowicz for about a month on assault charges around October of
2000. Incidentally, drummer Alex marquez, who played on Doomed To
Inherit, would disappear after recording that album, but not before
stealing the personal effects of Blachowicz! Wynjara was signed to
Nocturnal Art and also featured Jason Morgan of Monstrosity.
The band released Nostradamus in the summer of 2003 with Timlin in tow.
While a proposed show with Overkill was cancelled, the Florida act
toured with Misery Index, Dying Fetus and Skinless.
The band parted ways with bassist and vocalist Jason Blachowicz in
mid-2005 "due to serious personal and
legal issues." JP Soars and Duane Timlin would press on supporting
their latest release Method Of Execution. Blachowicz shot back at his
erstwhile colleagues expecting to take ownership of the band name.
DIVINE EMPIRE - DOOMED TO INHERIT - OLYMPIC
Due as early as July, the delayed album of this Malevolent Creation offshoot is now out and, lest there were any confusion, one quick sampling of the menace on this disc certainly confirms that talk is not of a white metal band despite the Divine Empire moniker. No rewards for guessing that this CD comes laden with mega doses of brutality, always a positive, even if there is little to distinguish this from Malevolent Creation proper. However, unfortunately for the trio, the more one soaks this in the less spectacular it all becomes. One is certainly engulfed by the brutality at first. However, there is next to little that is new here. That can be a good or bad thing, but the presence of a song built on a stolen Benediction riff on Blood of Nations is certainly bad. Not to mention the lead riff on album closer The Culprit is none other than Pestilence's Testimony of the Ancients! No gold medal for this olympian bunch; but for death metal fans Doomed is certainly a contender. - Ali "The Metallian"
DIVINE EMPIRE - METHOD OF EXECUTION - CRASH
The tenets of heavy metal are their own reward. Every band should know this and, in particular, acts which in the past have known and delivered purity especially must understand this. So, why is it that former deliverers of pure death metal brutality have issued an album that is watered down by, get this, keyboards, violin and experimental vocals? Method Of Execution’s new elements can partly be explained by acknowledging that everything gets worse with time. Beautiful schoolgirls, so pure and natural, shed their long hair and employ make up with age. Innocent children born into society undertake sinful acts. The idealistic law student tastes money and social acceptance and becomes a corporate minion, so on and so forth.
Bands are not exempt from this postulate. Age, lack of income and pressure from corporate magazines add up to drive a band like Divine Empire to using bluesy riffs et al. How sad, but money talks and were fans to ignore the album and send a message to the line-up one can be sure that repentance will come swift. At least, in the case of Divine Empire, we know that the band knew what (death metal) meant. On the other hand, Method Of Execution might be the quintessential trendy release. Add to the offensive elements a dedication to Diamond Darell of Pantera and Damageplan as conclusive proof that Divine Empire is another one of the many in the crowd quick to jump on a bandwagon. The band deems it necessary to thank a man whose life constituted going from a glam band to a thrash band to a mallcore band (before getting shot at a show) via an album called Method Of Execution whose cover artwork displays a machine gun firing at a blindfolded man. How else would one explain the “music & influence” dedication? After all, Divine Empire hardly sounds like anything Darrell ever played!
As things stand, the bulk of Method Of Execution is still comprised of death metal a la Malevolent Creation and Deicide. How slippery a slope Divine Empire band has laid foot on is to be determined though. - Ali “The Metallian”