Eye of the Storm
Divinefire is the Christian metal super group that’s the current flagship for Ex-Narnia front man Christian Liljegren, and guitarist Jani Stefanovic (Mehida, Solution .45) (As well as other assorted members and guests). The album is safely in the power metal genre, even with the frequent growling from Stefanovic. It’s a good one too, lyrical content aside (As Christian lyrics tend to be the best method of polarization), the lyrics themselves are well written, structured, and delivered from Liljegren.
What’s going to strike listeners first is the completeness of every song. There is a loud, grandiose, full tone to every song, with sweeping orchestration and driving drums. Lots of moments for head banging and a generally huge atmosphere. A regular complaint against orchestrated power metal with a strong keyboard presence is that the album sounds “Weak” or “Wimpy”. Jani Stefanovic sees your doubts and casts them to the great darkness. His riffs are downright crushing, intertwined perfectly in an intricate dance with the overall melody, and occasionally just going absolutely nuts.
Any major controversy, and a bit of a divisive point for the album, is not Stefanovic’s drumming, or guitar playing, but his vocals. Your mileage may vary, but power metal fans may find the growls and death vocals unnessecary. However, when taken in context of the music, it fits well enough. They, if anything, bring the album down. However, the cleaner vocals create a tension and contrast that really brings out the music.
Again, your mileage may vary on this point, but a huge relief is the absence of a true ballad. Too often power metal bands feel obliged to write one of these, in fact, on a lot of records, you find two such filler tracks. The closest Eye of the Storm comes, is the exciting, instrumental finale, “Close to the Fire”. Leading up to that though, are eleven, exciting, high octane, well written and well performed tracks to please most any headbanger. The standout tracks for my listening have been “Hold On”, for an extremely strong melodic chorus, and Send me Out, for having such a refreshing head banging rhythm, and again, a downright solid chorus.
Dagg's rating: 3.75/5