Band: Direct Divide
CD Title: Own Your Ocean
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Good Effort 2/5
This California trio has delivered their first studio recording and itís an eighteen-minute EP featuring five compositions all just around four minutes. Featuring the female vocals and strings of Razz they create a very unique sound that when coupled with their eclectic sense of composition creates a musical performance that might conveniently be labeled Alt-Prog with symphonic embellishments. In truth Iím reminded of two similar bands, similar in that they too featured a female vocalist and some unique instrumentation: Art in America and Esquire. Both these bands, much like Direct Divide composed songs first and foremost and then within that confined space worked to push the boundaries of what might be expected. In each of these songs the violin plays multiple roles, supporting the core melodies, playing lead, and naturally adding to the symphonic orchestration. Itís refreshing to see the band avoids the tendency of simply writing female fronted metal music that is so common these days. Their music is more quirky; aggressive at times but never falling into what Iíd call the heavy category. I think this gives them a much better shot at building a unique musical identity. In the end these are all moderately complex, catchy tunes with some very intriguing moments. Itís well played, well arranged, and hints at some amazing music that might be composed in longer songs. If there is a weak spot itís simply that the recording is too short. I liked their sound a lot and I look forward to hearing more from these guys.