Lost and almost forgotten in the pitch-black abyss of Norway, a country mostly known for its contribution to the black metal brigade for better and worse, my Scandinavian neighbors and metal brothers of the progressive metal outfit Divided Multitude have arisen after three years of silence. It was the outcome of a constant change within the ranks of Teodor Tuff, another Norwegian prog metal band, who was joined by the brothers Harøy three years ago upon the departure of three members. But finally the brothers have returned to their originally roots, and is now able to proudly present their newest album entitled “Feed On Your Misery”.
DM was born in the mid-1990s, consisting of guitarist Christer Harøy, and his brother Rayner Harøy on bass. Besides the two brothers on strings, the group has a powerful singer & guitarist by the name of Sindre Antonsen, and a keyboard wizard named Eskild Kløften. The drum kit is being abused by Anders Vinje (Triosphere – live) nowadays, who replaced his predecessor Olaf Skei on the previous album “Guardian Angel”. Each one of the five members is a highly gifted musician, and contributor to this musical adventure with their own key signatures from heavy guitar riffage, soaring keyboard melodies to the loud and punchy drumming, but their strongest card on hand is the vocal arrangements by frontman Sindre, who demonstrates exceptional strength and control of his rough and chunky vocal chords.
“Feed On Your Misery” is the fourth release of the quintet, and follows up on the album “Guardian Angel” from 2010, that didn’t leave any significant footprint on the progressive metal community. Maybe there is a sparkle of hope, and the tides will turn with the eleven tunes included on this release. It opens up with an instrumental intro which gives you a private lesson on how to play Spanish flamenco music on a guitar, but in the blink of an eye the flamenco dance is stopped, and the title song kicks in. It’s aggressive, and will be flooding you ear channels with some ultra-heavy riffs from the hands of Christer, and the supreme and powerful drum work by Anders. In addition to the first highlight of the album, the title track, the strongest pieces are found on the second part of this musical journey with songs like ‘Crimson Sunset’ and ‘2 4 7’, both delivering hard pumping prog metal, complemented by the colorful synthesizer work of Eskild’s magical fingers. Of course all good things come to those who wait. ‘Reborn’, our final destination of our musical journey, and a testimony of how to reward your patience, is a short reprise of the theme of the opening track, and then catapults itself into a tsunami of tempo changes, weird time signatures, frenzy guitar solos, thunderous drums, and dazzling sync tones all over the place.
Sound wise, the whole albums evokes haunting memories of my good old countrymen of Danish progressive metal outfit Anubis Gate, and their counterpart melodic death metal act Mercenary, and maybe it’s no coincident with the skilled Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Mercenary, Anubis Gate and so many more) behind the mixing desk once again on this high quality production, assuring all instruments are clear as day. It’s definitely not melodic death metal, but I hear elements of the same melodic brutal onslaught with some of the heavier parts. With half of the crew of Teodor Tuff onboard they sound, not surprisingly, similar to their Norwegians brothers, but leaning toward more straightforward and traditional song structures. Even though I tend to prefer the rich complexity and dynamics of prog metal, this actually suits their sound like a hand in a glove. With this release they are definitely drifting away from the conventional playing style of prog metal pioneers Dream Theater, into the territories of power metal dominated by some of the most influential metal bands as Symphony X and Nevermore.
If you feel like hanging out with those metal bands mentioned earlier, then maybe this will be the love letter you have been waiting for. It’s addressed to both progressive and power metal fans all around the world, and “Feed On Your Misery” represents the core of Divided Multitude, and their most ambitious project to date in my book. So will you be the one to fall in love with this rock solid piece of hard hitting progressive power metal? I guess only time will reveal, but at least give this album a chance or two to unleash its full potential…
The presence of Divided Multitude was sorely missed, welcome back home guys!