Death Metal is one of the most misunderstood genres of music we know of. Typically associated with simple caveman beats, chainsaw guitars and guttural vocals, it’s been panned for being simplistic and meaningless. Death Metal’s evolution, however, should be enough to prove them wrong, with Planetary Divide’s EP Origin serving as a prime example.
‘Perfect Failure’, the opening track, pulverizes the ears with heavy riffage and relentless melodies that invoke the spirits of J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart. The clean section in the middle could have been done without, and the song could have been a little longer. Other than that, it’s a great first impression of what’s to come.
The album continues with ‘A Sense of Clarity’, which begins with an eerie clean melody that immediately launches into a rapid double-bass onslaught. Dissonant melodies from the lead guitars stab at the ears and refuse to resolve as the rhythm section hammers on, but end up resolving for the killer guitar solo in the middle of the song.
‘Harbour of Misery’ is next, assaulting the listener with twisted arpeggios throughout the song that are supported with vicious, neck-wrecking grooves. PD mix things up here by squeezing in keyboards to supplement the rhythm, but without detracting from the guitars’ force.
And now the final track, ‘Into Infinity’. It opens with a beautiful melody that is outlined and played with by the lead guitars. More groovy goodness treats the ears before the middle section’s mid-tempo onslaught. It’s the end of the song that really cements itself into memory, driving on mercilessly and melodically into the beyond.
Final thoughts: While it maintains many traditions of modern Death Metal, Origin is a breath of fresh air in that it Planetary Divide did not discard melody for virtuosity or brutality. While this is still the beginning, this record is quite promising and offers a glimpse into this band’s talent and potential.
Final score: 8.0/10