Prophecy Album Cover Art

Drakkar Entertainment
Release Date: 11.02.22
Running Time: 45:13
Review by Dark Juan

Three fucking minutes.

That’s all it took for me to sit down and write the titling for this review before the furry terrorist twats I permit to live with me at Dark Juan Terrace started fucking me about. This after me attempting to repair a fan (failed), producing enough snot over the past week to fill an Olympic swimming pool, trying not to spread said contagion to my new colleagues, whilst training up for my new role (I have ceased to wrangle young gentlemen. The final straw came when I described a Bordeaux as a claret, which it FUCKING IS and the godless heathen bastards claimed that in fact a claret is a Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. Which it fucking ISN’T. I resigned in disgust the very next day, especially when they were discussing headwear for a formal occasion and I recommended Locke & Co of London and they said that an NY Yankees snapback was acceptable. Hopeless cases, indeed. They didn’t even know what a potage spoon was. Instead, I am now in charge of the wranglers of young people rather than wrangling them personally. I’ll be cracking the whip, don’t you worry.)

So, now the furry wankers of the household have settled down (as soon as I typed that, the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover leapt up and started shouting at the perfectly innocent passer-by traversing the window. Quadruped arsehole), I shall tell you about the record I am listening to, being DIVISION: DARK’s (yes, the band name is in capitals. Sigh… just write your name like normal people, for fuck’s sake) debut platter, called “Prophecy”.

I have had absolutely no luck in finding out who the people behind the band are. They operate from a position of mystery (rather like Vessel from Sleep Token) and there doesn’t seem to be any information about personnel. OK. That adds a layer of mystery that I am enjoying. However, as I am supposed to be reviewing the damned thing, I’d quite like to know who’s playing what (even if they called themselves a load of Shameless Ghouls, I’d take it). 

The music is a strange brew of Rammstein-esque German language Neue Deutsche Harte (Lex of Megaherz appears on the record on “Bevor Wir Wieder Asche Sind”), heavier Deathstars and the odd EBM flourish (Blutengel appear to be a particular influence and Chris Pohl, Lord Of The Razor-Sharp Cheekbones and Dropper Of All Goth Girl Panties features on “They’re All Hypocrites”), combined with the gothic stylings of famous Halifax miserablists Paradise Lost and the pomp of anthemic female fronted bands like Schysma and Evanescence. It’s… confusing. 

There are several different languages employed (Spanish, German, English) and the music is not all that original. Industrial Nightwish with NDH keyboards, basically. Where the averageness of the music is made up though, is with some of the guest vocalists whose performances range from the merely tedious (Isra Ramos until his chorus) to ridiculous levels of commitment (Steffi Stuber, who appears to have come to the conclusion that she doesn’t need to be able to breathe after her performance, so has decided to sing her heart and lungs out and leave them on the vocal booth floor). Also giving it their absolute all on “Promise” are Saeko Kitamae and Dead Venus’ Seraina Telli, whose operatic styles combine to devastating effect and considerably enhance the music they are singing over by being just this side of fucking demented wailing. That ragged edge makes their song a highlight of the album, because if they went an inch further with their performances they would have turned into caricature.

I wish the music was more inventive because most of the vocalists turn in powerhouse performances and the actual music doesn’t do them justice, and the likes of Megaherz’s Lex appear to phone it in because the style of DIVISION: DARK is so similar to his day job. I have to hand it to the girls on this record. Their voices add that Gothic and Operatic dimension that this album needs (Anneke Van Giersbergen’s waspish, angry-sounding, unusually phrased delivery is beautiful yet unsettling on “Wrong”).

The production of the record and the mix are actually pretty good. Everything is easily discerned although it does suffer from a ridiculously over-produced guitar sound that makes it sound almost sequenced rather than played. It’s the same complaint I have about Evanescence’s debut album though. It’s too artificial and needs to sound more organic. As far as debut records go though, it’s not bad at all. The songs need to change up tempos sometimes, as they all seem to be that mid-to fast paced stomp that Industrial Metal always employs. However, for vocal variety you can’t go wrong as you have the full gamut from the deep throated, baritone, sensual seduction of Lex and Chris Pohl, through the full throated vocal attack of The Agonist’s Vicky Psarakis (both clean and guttural) to the swooping and gorgeous gothic magnificence of Scarlet Dorn.

Not bad. Not jaw-droppingly wonderful, but a damned fine record to listen to at 3 a.m. on the A1 north of Edinburgh.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards DIVISION: DARK 7/10 for a record with rough edges but considerable promise. It would be interesting to see what the band themselves came up with without chucking in other vocalists though.

01. Eve (feat. Isra Ramos)
02. Stärker Als Gott (feat. Anna Lux & Eric Fish)
03. Twisted Game (feat. Vicky Psarakis)
04. Bevor Wir Wieder Asche Sind (feat. Lex)
05. (They’re All) Hypocrites (feat. Chris Pohl)
06. Division:Dark (feat. Seeb)
07. Der Letzte Tanz (Dino Serci & Otto Dix) Shouldn’t Otto Dix be fucking painting fat lasses instead of dancing?!?
08. Still Meinen Durst (feat. Frank Herzig)
09. The Art In Artificial (feat. Scarlet Dorn)
10. Destination (feat. Steffi Stuber)
11. Promise (feat. Saeko & Seraina Telli)
12. Bound Together (feat. Anna Murphy)
13. Wrong (feat. Anneke van Giersbergen)


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