Divine Empire - Redemption (2022 Reissue) (Oxblood Bone Swirl Edition) (LP)

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Formed in 1997, DIVINE EMPIRE were an interesting formation of Florida death metal. Most prominently, the power-trio featured vocalist/bassist Jason Blachowicz, who played with MALEVOLENT CREATION during their most crucial years of 1991-1997. On drums was a young Derek Roddy, who'd also just left MALEVOLENT CREATION following that band's In Cold Blood album, and before he'd become the modern drum-god known for his work with HATE ETERNAL, TODAY IS THE DAY, and AURORA BOREALIS as well as session work for NILE and NADER SADEK among many others. On guitar was John Paul Soars, also fresh from leaving MALEVOLENT CREATION following In Cold Blood but also known for RAPED APE and PAINGOD. With that considerable lineup in place, DIVINE EMPIRE recorded a six-song demo in early 1998, all of which would be re-recorded for the band's debut album, Redemption. Released later that year, Redemption was the sound of classic Florida death metal reasserting itself in a metal landscape where black metal and power metal had taken a hold and most who "used to play death metal" went in trendier directions. Not for DIVINE EMPIRE, though: from beginning to end, the swift attack of their 34-minute debut album brought back visions of DEICIDE in their early prime as well as MALEVOLENT CREATION during their classic The Ten Commandments / Retribution period. Redemption was meat & potatoes death metal delivered in a manner befitting such - crunchy, straightforward, lots of blasting and lots of breakdowns, and thankfully still EVIL. Death metal wasn't all hopeless back then, and DIVINE EMPIRE proved it with Redemption. The next year, in 1999, DIVINE EMPIRE would embark upon the legendary The Kings of Terror USA Tour alongside EMPEROR, WITCHERY, BORKNAGAR, and PECCATUM. And while they'd release three more albums in the coming years, Redemption definitely planted the name DIVINE EMPIRE among death metal's diehards, with the album taking on something of a cult status with new generations of death metallers looking back to the '90s.


Track listing

  1. The Awakening (Intro)
  2. Hidden Hatred
  3. Out for Blood
  4. Witness to Terror
  5. Redemption
  6. Silent Carnage
  7. Induced Expulsion
  8. Born of Sin
  9. Criminal Instinct
  10. Draped in Black
  11. Pray for Deliverance