It is simply amazing to see where technology can take music in the world today. At first listen, This Divided World's full length album "When Darkness Reigns" sounds just like any traditional quintet Deathcore band. However upon further investigation, this entire project is simply comprised of two individuals (at the time of the recording). Vocalist Mark Young and everything else-ist, Micah Brill put more energy, complexity, and mastering into an album than most Deathcore bands with a full line-up do. I wouldn't lie to you all when I say that this album is anything groundbreaking in the recently diminishing Deathcore genre, but for those who still enjoy to listen to it, "When Darkness Reigns" is a solid listen for those who enjoy a solid, fast-paced, upbeat assault. With breakdowns heavy and often, there is no confusion as to what genre this music lies in. These two gentlemen were aiming for an aggressive debut, and that's exactly what they gave us. The vocal range throughout the music is absolutely stunning as Mark Young reaches all levels of screaming vocals reaching bellowing lows and complimenting them with ear piercing highs to complete medusa screams that can be heard throughout the album. The lyrics are easy to pick up on as well as the vocals do not sound like a muddled mess of incomprehensible gibberish. They also provide a solid Christian message. I know a lot of people are turned away from music with a religious message, and that's perfectly fine. To each his own. There's nothing wrong with expressing one's beliefs in their music whether it be religious or anti-religion.
The first aspect of this album I'd like to touch on is the quality of the music that you'd listen to. This two man group put together an 11 song beatdown of a record, unsigned, self-funded, and it's mixed and mastered to the preciseness where you would think that these guys are signed to a major record label. But they aren't, and they have put this album up for free on their page. Talk about generosity. None of the instruments in the recording overlap or drown each other out in the least bit. The quality of which the music was mixed and mastered makes this album much better of a listen for anyone who wishes to give it a chance. The aggressiveness of the entire album is fairly consistent as well. Not once will you experience a dynamic change in speed or brutality. Songs such as "Redeemed," "Compromise," and "Vessels" are some of the heaviest, most groundbreaking tracks on the album. Experimenting with multiple genres is something that This Divided World was getting at during "Redeemed" when the guitar passages turned for more of a melodic riff rather than a traditional deathcore speed-riff that can be heard at any other time during the album. And if you're a fan of breakdowns, you'll be plenty satisfied by the amount of breakdowns that this album possesses. Each song possesses multiple heart pounding assaults that will test the durability of your speakers every single time you listen to this album.
The only negative I could really fathom on this album is the fact that it's not anything that has never been heard before. However upon listening, spreading the word of God and religious expression were clearly a main point of the creation of this album. And although I don't believe that the wheel was re-invented as far as the music for this album, the drums are solid, the guitar work is impressive, and the vocals are hard to be matched by anyone else in deathcore or metal as a whole for that matter. The work of two men has definitely surpassed the work of plenty of 5 or 6 person bands and that's difficult to do. This was supposed to be the paragraph of negativity towards this album but sometimes that's just hard to do when there isn't much that you don't like about this album.
I really hope this project stays alive as the departure of vocalist Mark Young has occurred since the release of this album. This is definitely will be a project I stayed tuned for updates for and I hope to hear new material from these guys (or this guy... what) in the near future.
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: September 29, 2012