By Greg Maki
If you’re like me, music is a big part of spooky season, and spooky season is not confined to October; it’s whenever you want it to be. This year, a new band out of Central Florida, has loudly crashed my Halloween playlist and is sure to remain in heavy rotation when the calendar changes. Since forming in early 2021, Dark Divine has maintained a steady flow of content, culminating (for now) with its debut EP, appropriately titled “Halloweentown.”
From the moment a roaring chainsaw kicks off “Run Away,” it’s a mad dash through this metalcore-based funhouse of horrors. Electronics laced throughout the recording add to the spookiness, and the Motionless in White influence is strong, but this band stands on its own. Rather than writing songs directly inspired by specific horror movies like some other acts are having great success with now, Dark Divine is more about a general spooky vibe, using horror imagery to support lyrics that are more personal in nature. (In “Run Away,” for example, inner demons and trauma manifest themselves as a guy with a chainsaw.)
Among the highlights, Ricky Armellino of Ice Nine Kills gives “No Escape” a lift, while “Circles” features the EP’s catchiest hook. Everything coalesces perfectly on the title track, which could be the band’s signature song for some time and should be on the playlist of any good Halloween party.
“Halloweentown”—the song and the EP—is an immensely entertaining introduction to the world of Dark Divine. My only complaint is that 25 minutes isn’t nearly enough. Bring on the full-length, please!
InVogue Records – September 30, 2022
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