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DIVINE HERESY
'Bleed the Fifth' (Century Media)

Review by Jeff Maki
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Divine Heresy is the new band of former Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares. Cazares left the breakthrough, industrial-metal band years ago, actually forcing a brief break-up right as the band hit its peek after now legendary albums Soul of a New Machine, Demanufacture and, to a lesser extent, Obsolete. Cazares has dabbled in other projects, most notably the Mexican murder-squad Brujeria, but he has yet to do anything as strong as his former band.

It was well documented in the press that Cazares' main reason for the split was a rift with vocalist Burton C. Bell. Whatever the case, he has found a new Burton C. Bell in the unknown Tommy Vext. I'll be honest here. If I had just heard Divine Hersey without knowing who they are, my first guess would be that it was the new Fear Factory album. The Demanufacture album has the biggest impact on Bleed the Fifth and understandably so, it being Fear Factory's strongest release. All of the elements are here: Vext's distinguishable growl with melodic clean choruses; rapid-fire machine gun drumming courtesy of Tim Yeung (Hate Eternal, Vital Remains); synchronized, downtuned guitar riffs; and in-your-face anthemic choruses, a la the Obsolete era. All this being said, if you are a fan of Fear Factory, grab this up immediately. The only obvious difference between Divine Hersey and Cazares' former band that I hear is more of a technical death metal influence, mostly due to Yeung's playing in Hate Eternal. “Rise of the Scorned” and “Royal Blood Heresy” are about as fast as any Hate Eternal material. Effects and keyboards are used but not to the extent of Fear Factory.

After the initial shock wears off from the similarities in sound, Bleed the Fifth starts with a loud statement on songs like the title track, “Failed Creation” and “The Threat is Real,” on which Vext repeatedly barks, “This threat is fucking real!” Well, it sure sounds legit. The band sets the bar too high with this opening destructive trio and doesn't ever fully regain the momentum, as the album fades at its close. Cazares still sounds like the Cazares of old and is heavier than ever. He also throws in some new tricks for good measure.“Savior Self” and “False Gospel” feature some of Cazares' new guitar tricks with an epic, Middle-Eastern sound. Logan Mader (Machine Head, Soulfly) of Dirty Icon produced and mixed the album with Lucas Banker. This was the logical choice for a guitarist's band, as Mader always makes the guitars jump out in the listener's face and shred through your speakers.

After several listens, the line between Divine Heresy and Fear Factory becomes a little clearer, but diehard FF fans may be offended at first. I am a big FF fan, but I didn't mind so much, especially since their last couple releases have been less than stellar. It is good to have Cazares back, as no one plays a heavier seven string. So now the question: Do we need another Fear Factory? Well, like they always say, I guess two is better than one.