Unblessed Divine add a dose of electronica to death metal on its debut effort Portal To Darkness. The band is comprised of former members of Malevolent Creation, Sinister and Decapitated. Therefore, this is not a band of rookies that discovered a blast beat six months ago. On Portal, the unholy trio provide a nice offering riffs and blast beats albeit with an industrial/electronica tinge. “Book Of Lies” opens the album in vicious fashion with several rhythm changes and blast beats galore. The guitar lead is reminiscent of vintage Morbid Angel while the droning keyboard samples heighten the track’s unnerving atmosphere. “Replace The Light” is a plodding monolith of riffs with eerie samples in the song’s background. Drummer Lysejko unleashes relentless double bass and blast beats that drive this track like a tank through Hell.
A haunting, Gregorian chant opens “The Dark Supremacy” before the trio breaks into a mid-tempo rhythm. This track twists and turns like a hellish corridor as the band slows down and speeds up before things instantly fade out. “Blacken The Soul” is both the centerpiece and longest track on Portal. It dives into death-doom territory with its slow, lumbering riffs and melancholy guitar lead. A distorted, haunting keyboard interlude abruptly ends as band ends on a barrage of blast beats and ferocity. “I Feed” opens with rolling drums fills and staccato riffing that segues into an ominous groove during the track’s midsection. Album closer “The Glorious Flames” concludes Portal in triumphant fashion. The foreboding riffing engulfs the listener like a demon dragging one into the Inferno.
Portal To Darkness straddles the line between the conventional and the experimental. Oftentimes, the band is successful as it does not discard brutality for avant-garde’s sake. The blast beats, guttural vocals and chunky riffs are abound. However, the band adds enough of an electronic element to refresh things. The album is at times monotonous, but the band snap out of it. The drum sound is the main sorespot on the album as it sounds a bit too computerized. However, the band’s musicianship and songwriting overrides this particular drawback.
Unblessed Divine make a strong showing on Portal To Darkness. It is not a groundbreaking album, but it is an above average death metal record. The band shows potential and its next effort will probably show a little more versatility. This is one portal fans of extreme metal should walk through.
Check out the band’s official website for videos and links the band’s social media pages: http://www.unblesseddivine.com/