The Great Divide
review published: 1/15/2015
The Great Divide is a progressive metal/metalcore band based in Chicago, IL. Fault Lines is the group's debut EP.
Disjointed is the best word I can use to describe this record. And there is no greater example than opening track "Alienism." The transition between the intro (a bass track backed by various synths) and the song's main riff is incredibly awkward. The overall shift in rhythm is extremely harsh and the two sections seemingly have nothing in common compositionally. It might seem odd to focus so much attention on the first 70 seconds of this EP, but it is a pretty good representation of what follows.
The Great Divide can obviously play. The odd time signatures, the jazzy leads, and the overall tightness of the band's performance indicate that there is some talent here. However, the actual song writing leaves much to be desired.
"Creature" is probably the best track on Fault Lines, full of impressive guitar playing and the most memorable riffs, but like the other tracks here, the transitions between sections aren't fluid and can be very jarring. The Great Divide try to mask this through the use of bass drops which becomes overly excessive midway through "The Onlookers Pattern."
The overall production of this record also does no favors to the musicians. All of the instruments are very clean sounding, but everything is fighting to be front and center at all times. There is an overall strident tone due to a lack of balance in the mix. It makes for a very difficult listen at times.
"Default" trudges its way through monotonous riffs and overbearing blast beats before reaching a mellow break halfway through. The change in overall dynamic should be refreshing, but the band really offers up nothing before returning to a mess of jarring, noisy chaos. The track approaches its conclusion on one of the better sections of the record with a catchy lead riff and off time start-stop rhythm.
Things draw to a finish on "Void" where The Great Divide provide some nifty noodling and make better use of mellower clean guitar sections while staying true to the overall messy feel of the record.
Bottom Line: Hopefully, this is a band in its early stages learning how to write with each other. There is some promise here, but Fault Lines is just too jumbled to stand out.
Track Listing: 01. Alienism 02. Creature 03. The Onlooker's Pattern (The Spectator) 04. Defaulter 05. Void