The Divergent - Close Your Eyes and Perish - EP Album Review - Modern Metalcore / Death Metal from Hämeenlinna, Finland

The Divergent - Close Your Eyes and Perish - EP Album Review - Modern Metalcore / Death Metal from Hämeenlinna, Finland

Today, I delve into the world of a promising modern metalcore/contemporary progressive death metal band, The Divergent, hailing from Hämeenlinna, Finland. Their latest EP, “Close Your Eyes and Perish,” was released on August 4, 2023, immediately securing its place in my music library and the "Strongly Recommended Metal" category.

The Divergent — Malignant [Official Audio]

"Man is a wolf to man. There are pretenders among us that you should exclude from your life. Malicious people who are worse than the villains of fairy tales. Real life monsters. Still, goodness eventually wins and those bloodsuckers end up living very sad and bitter lives.

Written by Markus Pulkkinen, Harri Moilanen and Joonas KatajaArrangement/Production by The DivergentMix/Master/Co-Production by Joona Muistola at HAW studiosVideo/Album cover by Harri Moilanen"

The Divergent is one of the rising prospects from Finland who has been on my radar since 2019 with their single “Neuroplasticity.” Their long-awaited new EP, “Close Your Eyes and Perish,” was my priority this Sunday morning, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t wrong about them from the beginning.

The album stands out for two main reasons: the vocal performances and the freshness of their musical foundation. First of all, I believe that this band distinguishes themselves from their contemporaries with their impressive vocalist, who can seamlessly transition between death growls, clean, and melodic singing, remarkably reflecting the necessary vibe and contributing to the musical depth depending on the atmosphere of the section. Also, he’s got the vocal range to add many different dimensions to the band’s music, whereas Close Your Eyes and Perish has brilliantly captured his best performances.

From a musical standpoint, the album mainly incorporates direct influences from modern metalcore, contemporary death, and progressive metal. After discovering them in 2019, they stayed in my memory with their Scandinavian vibes in their musical style and their expertise in progressive death metal. With this EP release, I can see that they’ve also explored the world of modern metalcore as familiar to us from bands such as The Architects, blending it with contemporary death metal reminiscent of In Flames. Nevertheless, the album offers a fresh take on their interpretation of these influences of chaotic heavy music, accompanied by dark Scandinavian vibes, an intense climate, breakdowns, melodic resolutions, and remarkable vocals that take everything to the next level. The Divergent has refreshed my memory and once again convinced me of their potential on my very first listen.

The Divergent, band photoPhoto credit: Unknown

On the other side of the coin, even though the “Close Your Eyes and Perish” EP album does have the necessary production quality to make an undeniable impact on the listener, it still feels like there’s so much room for improvement, specifically in the band’s sound character. I couldn’t help but think of internationally acclaimed modern metalcore bands during my listen, of their breakdowns in a similar way with a comparable sound character. In this case, the album doesn’t distance itself from other bands in the world of modern metalcore and death metal; instead, it sounds like one of the bests out there with familiar mainstream qualities.

The Divergent, band photoPhoto credit: Unknown

In summary, “Close Your Eyes and Perish” is one of the tightest metal albums I very much enjoyed listening to in 2023 from Scandinavia, which reaffirmed my positive impressions of The Divergent for the second time. Skillfully blending modern metalcore, progressive, and death metal, led by a remarkable vocalist with a versatile range, all under a dark and chaotic Scandinavian climate. Highly recommended for metal enthusiasts. Thank you for reading.

released August 4, 2023

Written by Harri Moilanen, Markus Pulkkinen and Joonas Kataja
Arrangement/Production by The Divergent
Mix/Master/Co-Production by Joona Muistola at HAW studios
Video/Album cover by Harri Moilanen

The Divergent on the Web


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