EP Review: Divine Intervention – Liminal

Divine Intervention - Liminal

Just when I thought all of the fresh talent in prog metal was hiding towards the more extreme side of the spectrum, I am introduced to this band, the San Pedro, CA five-piece Divine Intervention. Although I was expecting DI to fall into the same rut of Dream Theater or Symphony X that so many melodic prog metal bands do, the change of pace here is refreshing, and while not an entirely new breath of fresh air than what I have already heard in the style, Divine Intervention do plant themselves as one of the last vestiges of hope in a style that I personally think got tired over a decade ago.

My personal cynicisms for melodic prog metal aside, Divine Intervention are a truly impressive act, and the fact that I find myself so endeared to them with all things considered should be a testament to their strength as an act. Musically, Divine Intervention’s music is heavy at times, but always melodic, and resists the temptation to become an overly technical wankfest a la Dream Theater. Instead, Divine Intervention bases their debut EP, Liminal, around the long lost art of proper songwriting; their music uses sometimes complex musicianship, but it is always based in a tight composition, and this really grabs my attention. The vocals here are often the center of attention atop tasteful instrumentation, the atmosphere is kept somewhat melancholic throughout, and — coming as a surprise to someone that was expecting a metal album — tastefully mellow. Divine Intervention is instead heavy prog rock throughout most of this, although I would have to say that the vocals keep a metallic tinge to the music. The vocal delivery by Alex Madrid on Liminal is something refreshing.

The songwriting here is generally the highlight of the release. Everything is beautifully produced and polished, but the sound stays organic; a sure sign of a successful studio job. The songwriting really caught my attention from the first listen onwards though

Opening “By Your Decree” and its follow-up “Creature of Habit” are two of the most memorable tracks here, using some lively riffs to create a hook. The title track makes perfect use of those mid-to-high-register vocals that Alex Madrid does so well, and gets punkishly heavy. The highlight moments on Liminal are brilliant. The EP is one of the most consistent releases I have heard since the beginning of the year. It gets me excited to see what else that the band has in store.

Liminal is out now; order it from Bandcamp. Follow Divine Intervention on Facebook, and visit their website for more info. You can read our interview with the band here.

Divine Intervention

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: