Gotta tell ya: Al Necro wasn’t a huge fan of modern death metal when it exploded in the early years of the new millennium, but can appreciate some noteworthy technical death metal bands that released albums during that time. I much prefer the roots of technical death metal in the early nineties, like Demilich and Monstrosity, so it’s no surprise that after hearing Destroying Divinity’s latest release, Hollow Dominion, through obscure label Lavadome Productions, I have become a fan of the band. Destroying Divinity is old-school technical death metal. Hollow Dominion sounds like Demilich meets Morbid Angel, with leads done a la Hate Eternal. No hyperspeed clicks and sweep-picking here. Catchy but challenging riffs rule the day, and it’s about time some Demilich worship come out of somewhere in the world. Demilich was always one of the more original tech-death bands that ever played.
The simpler parts to Hollow Dominion remind me of early Morbid Angel. The techy parts have some dissonant segments that remind me of Demilich. The vocals remind me of Demilich as well, sounding like a deep gurgle that Demilich’s frontman used.
Not actually as weird as that band’s dissonant style was, certainly catchier, Destroying Divinity give this style credibility. They do an absolutely good job on Hollow Dominion, and after hearing this album repeatedly, the early impressions have not changed to anything negative. Destroying Divinity are an absolute must-listen for fans of the old tech-death sound.
With an open mind, any death metal fan will really appreciate this. It doesn’t ooze out of a cave, or sound like a vacuum cleaner, but leave current trends where they are at this moment. Countless bands are now hopping on that bandwagon, and time will tell whether ancient death metal will be just as big a trend as modern death metal was for the uninitiated.
There are some groove sections on Hollow Dominion, but they are not used in every song. Mostly, they do push the tempos, but they don’t use the drum triggers or the digital tricks that hide some musicians sloppy play. They also don’t wank all over the fretboard like some bands did during tech-death’s heyday. There’s a strong sense of melody in every song. It’s a shame that very few folks have paid attention to Hollow Dominion, as the quality spills over the brim on this release. As mentioned, the tracks are catchy; in fact, catchy enough to leave a great impression on a listener without mentioning “tech.” Just death metal, sans the aforementioned word, the term works just as great. If it’s not cvlt and not your thing, you’re missing out. Quality music is all that matters, so cvlt warriors, leave the trendies to their trends and leave Destroying Divinity to music lovers.