The Blood Divine - _Awaken_
by: Pedro Azevedo (
The Blood Divine are the result of joining Darren White (Anathema, vocals), the Ryan brothers (Cradle of Filth, guitars and keys), the other CoF guitarist PJ Allender, drummer Was from Extreme Noise Terror, and bassist Steve Maloney. This band is therefore the fusion of Cradle of Filth, slower and without the black metal influences, and Anathema, since Darren's vocals always were a big part of the superb early Anathema sound. Vincent Cavanagh (current Anathema vocalist) said they "kicked out" Darren because his voice was getting worse all the time. The Blood Divine proves Cavanagh was wrong, since Darren's vocals are amongst the best I've ever heard - emotional, powerful, awesome. The keyboards remind me a lot of Cradle of Filth, of course - it's clear that it's the same guy behind the keyboards, and he performs as brilliantly as one would expect. And then the guitar work, which is just as excellent as the rest of the album, combined with the remarkable, powerful drumming and the good bass work. It's really hard to point out tracks here, since they're all great. I really can't name my favourite track. TBD manage to include lots of doomy melodies and feelings from Anathema, as well as the kind of keyboard effects and atmospheres that can be found in any CoF album. But TBD add an intense power of their own to all this, raising it all to a different level. It's very clear that they have their own sound, at the very least just as good as the bands they come from. In fact, I liked this much, much better than Anathema's latest. Just a final word for Ruth, who seems to have moved with Darren from Anathema: her vocals on two of the softest tracks are truly great, as she has one of the sweetest voices I ever heard. I believe more influence of hers in the future will be a very good thing for TBD. Overall, this is possibly my favourite 1996 album.
(article published 3/16/1997)
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