The Singularity

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Calgary, Canada's Divinity do their country's internationally respected technical death metal legacy proud with their second album, 2010's Singularity, which takes the eye-crossing complexity favored by compatriot elder statesmen like Cryptopsy, Kataklysm, and Gorguts, and synthesizes it with much greater agility and immediacy (and, potentially, a few musical heresies). In other words, the band's typically Byzantine arrangements tend to exchange sheer, suffocating density for cleaner guitar sounds of a thrashier nature (e.g. "Beg to Consume," "Formless Dimension"), abundant synthesizer backdrops ("Transformation," "Monsters Are Real," etc.), and a wider range of crude vocal styles (growls, snarls, screams), including the odd patch of melodic singing (see "Lay in the Bed You've Made" and "Approaching the Singularity"). The end results place the band at a crossroads between the aforementioned veteran acts (Immolation also comes to mind quite often) and the death/thrash/prog/power metal hybrid pursued by another genre-crossing Canuck outfit, Into Eternity, notably on the piano-introduced, metalcore-infused, and suitably named "Embrace the Uncertain," which will surely have staunch death metal purists excommunicating the band from their milieu entirely. But is there even a place in this day and age for this kind of territorial pissing match, or is it best to live and let live? Or live and let death, as it were? Obviously, that decision depends on the listener, but chances are Divinity's career will do just fine, regardless.

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