Ever since Alexisonfire called it quits, you’ve been a wreck: crying into your pillow here, fetal positioning in your closet there. Well, enough of that hooey.
Get up, throw on something sexy (preferably with a hood), and get out there, ‘cause there are plenty of Ontarian post-hardcore bands in the sea. Dead and Divine is one of them. They’re from Burlington, they like long walks in dark alleyways, and their third album, Antimacy (out now via Distort), is sure to give you full-body convulsions.
Much like Dallas Green and co. used to do, Dead and Divine contrast brutal hardcore with ethereal melody, except their Jekyll sounds less whiney and their Hyde sounds downright homicidal. Antimacy’s opener, “Asphyxia Fiend,” barrels out the gate with madcap intensity, morphing from convoluted half-time churns to breakneck d-beat blasts to full-blooded anthemic choruses at the snap of a finger. The vicious kaleidoscope of styles never lets up—“SlumLord” is a car crash of dissonant chugging and Hail Destroyer–esque sludge, while “Cult/Misleader” (streaming above) mixes twisted mosh moments with balls-out motorik bursts in the same vein as Every Time I Die. (Incidentally, ETID recently drafted Dead and Divine’s former drummer.) All the while, vocalist Matt Tobin effortlessly toggles between ghastly guttural and crystal clean to take shots at heartless lovers (“Ditchpig”), organized religion (“Midnight Society”), and his own calloused rhinoceros hide (title track).
It’s all very nasty, noisy, and angry, but what sets Antimacy apart from your standard Cookie Monster metal is the sophistication with which Dead and Divine craft these tunes. Guitars, vocals, and drums lock in with adroit precision, rhythmically contorting from punk to metal to hardcore in a way that comes off not like a graft-job, but like conviction-laden songwriting. Most bands attempting to fuse this many elements sound more forced than a soap-opera actress, but these dudes make it feel as natural as breathing. Alexisonwho?