Divine Empire - _Nostradamus_
(Century Media, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (
There's something from Divine Empire's third full-length effort that I can't quite place my finger on. It's technically superb -- well produced and brilliantly performed. It's fast, aggressive and very heavy. At times it even showcases moments of such menacing genius that one could conceivably imagine people like Eric Rutan turning green with envy. Yet for all its merits, there's something that just doesn't quite gel. One could point the finger and claim to have heard everything that Divine Empire offer before, but the crux of what plagues _Nostradamus_ is a distinct lack of personality; an almost bizarre accusation considering the pedigree of the band's members (Malevolent Creation, Paingod et al). But this, combined with the fact that particularly toward the close of the album Divine Empire just seem to have grown lazy as far as songwriting is concerned, makes for an album that falls ever so slightly short of the mark. _Nostradamus_ is by no means the worst death metal album you'll hear in your life, but it certainly won't dethrone bands like Morbid Angel or Nile anytime soon.
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