divided_multitude_st_1Hailing from Brekstad, Norway, Divided Multitude are a five piece progressive metal band who have been kicking about for 21 years. Having extensively toured Scandinavia and mainland Europe, the band has a rather unique sound – a modern progressive metal base with some elements of melodic power metal and small traces of classic Euro metal. With a name which pretty much means breaking up the masses, let’s see if one of Norway’s stand out prog metal bands really are a break from the masses.

If you were to form an opinion of this band and their sound based on the first minute of the album opener, “Immortal”, you would be forgiven for dismissing them as a melodic metalcore band with synths. After the initial heavy shock, the clean vocals come in with a fantastic presence and quality in the delivery and the synths add that extra edge to the sound, really emphasising the thunderous guitars. From here on out, it is simply modern progressive metal all the way. With epic synths and really dominant vocals, the track shifts through a multitude of styles – bright and melodic, powerful and anthemic, heavy and thunderous, all of them wonderfully crafted by the fantastic synth work which not only adds that extra dimension to the sound, but trades leads with the guitar with minimal fuss.

From here on out, the album proceeds in a similar manner. “Closure” has some intricate and twisting riffs to it with some real rich basslines in its verse and the chorus has a massive impact when it kicks in, really upping the atmosphere and given a real powerful feel. Vocally, it’s just as powerful, in the verses the vocals are delivered with real confidence and round the mid-point of the song where it gets really heavy for the lead section there are some fantastic power metal styled vocal deliveries. “Only For You” follows on with a real dramatic and symphonic opening which is delivered at a good pace and has a real rhythmic hook to it and its choruses have that massive feel to them thanks to the vocal and synth deliveries. The stand out moment though, is the wonderful sounding guitar and synth solo trade off section later in the track before the age-old final chorus key change rounds off the song in a stylish manner.

“Sacrificed” has some intricate piano lines running through it which show yet another side to just how influential the synth and keyboards are to Divided Multitude’s sound and the structuring and composition of the track is wonderful. The clean guitar lines, choir like synths and piano melodies which lead into the heavy, polyrhythmic chugging verses sound delightful and the intricate guitar lines which are augmented by the synth does draw some parallels to Dream Theater, especially with the progressions and harmonies involved. “Proud” keeps this theme up and it almost comes across as a ballad of sorts with its sorrowful and haunting feel and the dual vocal approach, courtesy of the guest vocalists from Pyramaze and Shadow Gallery. With a classic Queensrÿche feel to it, the track really hits home with the dramatic arrangements and the tasteful lead melodies.

“Demise” brings it back to a more metal like feel with its rapid drums and fast paced riffing giving a sense of urgency to the track. Ripe with a Euro Metal feel, the guitars have that incredibly heavy presence in the mix and the tone is impressive. The synths do their part, overseeing the progression of the song and enhancing it when needed and the way the guitar and synth interact in the lead section really highlights just how good a unit they are. “Redefined” continues like this, with more pounding rhythms and harmonised lead melodies, bass heavy verses and vocals delivered with power and precision, never seeming out of place, it has a feel like the more modern works of In Flames but with real clean vocals and the harmony lead section into the guitar and synth solo trade off back to back really gives this song a technical and dramatic edge.

“How Many Tears” brings back the heavier, power metal feel with its big groove and pounding bass, augmented by the subtle swirling synths to give it that extra edge. Building up as it progresses to the chorus, it has a dark and melodic quality to its sound and delivery and the second verse features some real strong vocal displays but once again, the tandem of the guitar and synth really makes this track shine with the melodic and smoothly delivered lead sections. “Depth” keeps the powerful feel with some real fast paced riff work, intricate guitar lines which twist their way around the rhythm section and some epic sounding synth moments. With a real kick to it, this song really ramps up the impact of just how good the delivery that Divided Multitude have and their technical prowess cannot be questioned with the fast paced, fluid and technical soloing section towards the end of the track.

Closing the album is “Seal Of Faith” which has an ominous feel to begin with, courtesy of the faint guitar lines, imposing piano chords and heavily effects laden vocals. With switches to soft and clean vocals throughout the track which goes along at an eerily slow pace, it has a real sense of build to it which when it comes in, comes off fantastically. Full of massive feel moments and a real atmospheric nature, it is a fine way to end the album.

Overall, this self-titled release is a real solid progressive metal album. The additional edges of power metal and Euro metal help spice it up a little, giving subtle kicks where needed which have a knock on effect of giving a massive and dominant feel where it is needed. At times, it does feel like there is too much happening in some of the tracks with the multitude of layers from the synths, but this does help give it that real modern progressive feel. Overall, this is a damn good release. It’s solid, has enough variety to keep you engaged and if you like your synths and big sounding moments, it’s something you should check out.

(7/10 Fraggle)