Matthias Steele – Question Of Divinity (2016)

This power/thrash unit from the US have been active since the year I was born (1985) but haven’t put out a new record since 2007’s Resurrection. Would this then make Question Of Divinity a Re-Resurrection? All joking aside, the record seems to combine groove, thrash, doom and modern elements to create something that sounds a little rough and rough, but definitely full of heart. When I listen to Question Of Divinity, I hear a band who aren’t playing music to be rock stars, they’re playing for the sheer enjoyment of it. Frontman Anthony C. Lionetti III has a voice that is undoctored by the use of electronic vocal touch-ups and sounds just as raw and natural as the rest of the disc. He manages to belt out memorable falsettos with a certain sense of emotional theatrics that really help to decorate the music. “World Of Sin” (3:56) for example, doesn’t have the most memorable composition, but it proves it’s groove and works as a vehicle for those powerful vocal lines. Guitarist Jami Blackwood doesn’t necessary perform some of the most complex riff combinations I’ve ever heard, (and they come off more or less like a sort of groove metal) but that’s why the vocal element here is so potent. The choruses are also very catchy, which adds to my enjoyment of the disc as a whole. Not all of the tracks here completely resort to simple hard rock style grooves though, as “My Pain” (5:40) takes those grooves into slower, almost doom-like territory while “March Of The Dead” (4:07) shows that Blackwood does have indeed a few tricks up his sleeve after all, and pulls out a phenomenal performance in what seems to be a bit of bluesy Sabbath-influenced number. As the disc goes on, it gets much better and the songs begin to pack a bit more muscle and longevity, Maybe the grooviness of this record might not hit as well for some, but I definitely got into it and I have a feeling that a majority of doom and classic heavy metal fans will find something here. The disc also features two live cuts of “Worthless Soul” and “Supersonic Man” which both feature the band sounding a bit closer to the way they present themselves in the opening title track and later on in the disc. It’s still a pretty solid release, and fans should enjoy it.

(10 Tracks, 47:00)

7/10

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