Divine Design

1. Divine Design
2. The Shadow Within
3. The Seers Of The Shadows
4. A Change In The Tide
5. Slave To The Flame
6. Through The Veil Of Death
7. The Darkest Grace

Lassi Vääränen – Vocals
Janne Seppänen – Guitars
Janne Korpela – Guitars
Antti Varjanne – Bass
Marko Möttönen – Drums



Recorded & Engineered by Sami Niittykoski
Drums recorded by Aksu Hanttu
Mixed by Mika Leppälä
Mastered by Jaakko Viitalähde
Cover by Petri Lampela
All music by Constantine
Lyrics by Janne Seppänen
Produced by Constantine

Released 26/10-2011
Reviewed 26/4-2012

palokka records

Constantine, the smoking exorcist in the “excellent” movie with the same name, played by the “brilliant” actor Keanu Reeves. That is one possible Constantine but it can also be a finnish band who have released their debut album a while ago and who has now recently sent me a copy (their label has) and started the info letter with “Dear Daniel” which is the most pleasant start of a letter following an album I have ever gotten and if the label think that I will look more positively on the album just because they are polite, they are gravely mistaken but it doesn’t hurt either. Divine Design is the title of this band’s debut album and it has a very exiting album cover art although the one who glued the digipak did a really poor job as the plastic where the record sits has already fallen out of the cover which is quite bad, lets hope that isn’t an indicator as to which quality this band possess.

Musically the talk is in terms of something progressive or power progressive metal which doesn’t sound wrong at all. Reviewers name drop the big progressive name, albeit Savatage is excepted from the four bands that are mostly referred to within the genre. I don’t like namedropping so I will not mention either Dream Theater, or Fates Warning, nor will I mention Queensrÿche as it is too easy to just name those and say that they sound like some kind of hybrid between those and NWOBHM, maybe they do but it sounds as ridiculous as a Toyota Prius is to day it. It is power metal with quite classical fast heavy metal riffage as we hear from many bands and to that there are some added flair in terms of some progressive elements in tempo shifts, some moods and all of that which are usually thought of as progressive things. One such thing are that all songs are quite long most being well over seven minutes and that is seen most easy considering that the album is over one hour long and yet there’s only seven tracks on the album. The singer has a high toned voice that sound a bit typical of the genre, very good and powerful it is at least. Many reviewers has written about the drums as very good, maybe they are but for me they don’t feel that exceptional to be honest.

Coming up as a new band today you have to be something special to be noticed, consider my playlist in Crapple itunes that consist of 494 tracks and more than 36 hours of music, add to that the three posted albums I have yet to put there along with some podcast albums and one more album to download from a promotor. That is a hell of a lot of music and much of it is really good but not much is something that really stand out and Constantine does not. Generally I ask myself, what makes me want to play this album over its peers? and if there are reasons to do that a higher rating may be in order and this is good but to pick this over albums like A Portrait From the Abyss Within, Awake, Operation Mindcrime or A Pleasant Shade of Grey which are all stylistically not too far away from Divine Design would be plain stupid as those albums are fairly wonderful, this is just a very good album that fails to leave a lasting impression.

I think this album’s main problem are the long songs, they just are not interesting enough through the entire songs which makes this album feel fragmented and tiring rather than interesting. The music in itself is mostly perfect but it feels a bit too safe, like they have gathered bits and pieces that has been tried and tested by other bands and put together as theirs with the resulting piece being one that you can like while listening to it but forget the instant the last song ends. I have played this album 24 times now and still I cannot recall a song line from it when not listening to it, I know some parts of the ending epic are quite magical, the singer is great and the performance is flawless but the songs are not memorable, not like the albums I previously mentioned and that makes it a good album which is a good listen but not something you carry with you.

So in the end it is a brilliant debut and a band that shows a wonderful potential for many great deeds in the future, Divine Design feels more like Rookie Design in terms of it being copy-pasted from concepts that has been proven successful in previous albums by other bands which makes this album feel like something we have heard before and that is something I do not look for in a progressive album, they should feel fresh, exiting and brilliant, this just feels good and that is not enough for any of our top ratings but it is a band that I will keep an eye on as I think that they can work wonders if they add a bit of bravery to their music in the future but this debut promises more than it can deliver.




Label: Palokka Records
Three similar bands: Fates Warning/Queensrÿche/Dream Theater
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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