By Greg Maki
When you’re a new band that’s hit on something that’s connecting with an audience and the creative juices are flowing, the best thing you can do is to keep the content coming. Florida’s Dark Divine is doing exactly that, returning with its debut full-length, “Deadly Fun,” less than a year after the release of its excellent “Halloweentown” EP.
Living up to its title, the album is a blast for those who enjoy a bit of spooky metalcore a la Motionless in White or Ice Nine Kills. Going from harsh to clean and back again with ease, vocalist Anthony Martinez is a rising star in the subgenre, while creepy electronic sounds circle around the driving guitars, bass and drums to create a seasonally appropriate atmosphere. With three extra songs to work with, the LP covers more ground than the EP, although that allows for a bit of a misstep by venturing into too-familiar Octane territory on “Cold.” But we also get bangers like “Terrifier” and “The Reaper,” along with songs that effectively combine the approaches, such as “Paper Crown” (featuring Fame on Fire frontman Bryan Kuznitz) and “Hive Mind.” The emotional “Moving On” is another highlight that would have been my choice to close the album, but there’s nothing wrong with going out on a heavier note.
While there doesn’t appear to be a signature song that rivals the “Halloweentown” title track—an admittedly high bar to clear—“Deadly Fun” shows that those early releases were no fluke and Dark Divine is a band with real staying power.
Thriller Records – September 8, 2023