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Album Review: Brokentooth by DIVIDES

DIVIDES release their debut album Brokentooth on 11th August. While it may be easy to compare the band to other female fronted bands like PVRIS, the comparison isn’t without its merits. The vocal style of CJ Marie is similar and the heavy riffs combined with the accessible choruses and pop like interludes compound the comparison.

Speaking of the album the CJ Marie says, “Musically, the album is so schizophrenic because it reflects the tumult of our lives, and the tremendous increase in our collective influences. This album marks the first recording that our new guitarist Paul Anderson contributed to and his addition really affected the way we think about music. We sort of challenged ourselves to push the limits on what we consider ‘our sound’.”

Take those words as a good summary of the album. It is schizophrenic in the way you get the feeling that band haven’t decided exactly how they want to sound, they may have pushed themselves too far. When the band do heavy, they do it well. Opener ‘Holes In The Floor’ is a promising start that promises a lot. Unfortunately things unravel from that point onwards.

‘Supersymmetry’ feels disjointed and ‘Echoes Fade’ sounds messy. The guest vocal of Chris James of Defeat The Low will surely have given them some extra exposure, but it just doesn’t work. The female / male vocals don’t blend well or complement each other. ‘Sails And Anchor’ tries to be the big ballad of Brokentooth but ends up feeling contrived. ‘Alpenglow’ works slightly better, simply due to the strength of CJ Marie’s vocal. There are hints of potential and some of the riffs are great yet you feel numb as it’s just a little too safe and easy.

When DIVIDES turn the riffs up and go for the more conventional metalcore sound they excel. ‘Siren’ and album title track ‘Brokentooth’ stand out as being the best tracks. Neither come close to breaking the metalcore mould but they’re solid and enjoyable. ‘Vines & Thorns’ is seemingly the only quieter song that works well, the track has some nice guitar work that complements the delectable vocal. It’s probably best to not dwell on album closer ‘We Are Fragments’, it’s hard to think of a more contrived and concerted effort to break into the metalcore mainstream. It’s messy and ill-thought.

You can see what DIVIDES are trying to do on Brokentooth, it isn’t a particularly bad album, it just doesn’t work, CJ Marie is the band’s selling point and they’ll milk it. It feels unstructured and unfocused, disappointing.

AD Rating 5/10

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