Divina Enema - _At the Conclave_
(Eldritch Music, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (5 out of 10)
The wintry front cover chosen by this band from Belarus for their album sparked considerable interest in me -- the desolate yet majestic ruins amidst the dark, frozen landscape. As it turns out, the band uses violin, cello and piano to augment their progressive, theatrical, symphonic metal sound quite well, and the whole thing might have worked... had it not been for most of the vocals. I simply cannot hear past the incredibly annoying, jarring, high-pitched male singing that accompanies the very decent Garm-influenced vocals. Even if I could, the extremely poor death grunts and blackened vocals are lurking right behind the next corner to render the whole thing unenjoyable. I simply cannot recall having heard worse death vocals than these, or more intolerable clean singing than these eunuch-like theatrical vocals. Fortunately, there is enough vocal variety to avoid having these particular vocals on all the time -- but they still show up far too frequently, all courtesy of the same person. For six lengthy tracks, Divina Enema show lots of ambition and several good ideas, even if they often bring to mind Devil Doll and Angizia, for instance. Several acoustic string passages and piano sections prove the potential this band does have, only to be ruined by the aforementioned insufferable vocals (e.g., the opening of the second track). The quality of the musical arrangements tends to vary somewhat, but the band is instrumentally competent and full of drive to build intricate musical and lyrical structures. They really should have done a lot better when choosing the appropriate people for some of the types of vocals they use; this way the music keeps changing abruptly from interesting to infuriating -- hence my rating. Hopefully Divina Enema will significantly improve their vocal section for their next release. As it is, however, this metallic "Bohemian Rhapsody" of sorts doesn't even get off the ground, despite all the potential it did have.

Contact: dzianis@eldritch-music.com (Europe)

(article published 19/10/2001)


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