Divider - At Twilight (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


At Twilight (2006)

Shock Value

Long Island, NY's Divider got blessed pretty early on. Any young band would drop their Ibanezes in a flash to get to record with Converge's Kurt Ballou, who's worked with the similarly heavy likes of Isis and Cave In (metalcore era). Fortunately for Divider, they didn't neccessarily have to, instead bringing their heavy catharsis into his God City Studios and letting him sandpaper it to oblivion, giving it a finely rough but professionally sounding enough surface for their debut EP, At Twilight.

Call it journalistic laziness, but the first band I'm going to compare Divider to is surely Ballou's full-time endeavor -- Converge. It's their chief influence in the use of manic time changes, abrasive heavy metal and lean hardcore inspirations, but there's a healthy amount of modern touches here as well -- in a good way. The band builds rising and falling action in short bursts, and it results in minor explosions of haunted, hoarse singing, if you can call it that, over ringing guitars that, well, might bring Isis to mind for some (see: title track). Mind you there's a breakdown here or there, but they're rather well-integrated ("Malled"), fading it out quickly rather than dragging it out, letting it wear out its welcome. It's always refreshing to see some ambition in the early stages of a band's career, especially when it works.

On top of this is Divider's clear awareness of social-political issues. Spitting not-so-subtle metaphors like "you're a piece of a puzzle defined by the color of your collar," Divider provides some interesting perspective on the always relevant cog/system ordeal.

From the crisp artwork to the perfect levels of production (nary is this tin can hollow, nor is it squeaky clean), At Twilight is almost too good for a first release, but its mere presence forces me to believe it. Here's a band who knows exactly what they're doing right out of the gates, and simultaneously reviving the creativity in a genre thought to be on its last legs by many. The crazy thing is: They're just getting started.