Since its inception in 2017, the progressive melo-death metal band Diatheke (pronounced dee-uh-theek) has gone through quite a series of changes. The project started as a trio and quickly went inactive, returning as a solo act nearly a year later. Now that it's back to business as a trio, they've come together to release their third original single, "Splendour," a stunning, nearly nine-minute-long epic.
Simply put, "Splendour" is an impressive piece of work. Some artists have no business making their songs as long as they do, but Diatheke makes excellent use of each one of the 535 seconds they give us. The song is almost structured as a series of movements. While there's a clear-cut chorus and some verses, there are also several instrumental breaks in between that are designed to highlight the instrumentation, which ranges from heavy, methodical chugging to lightning fast double bass and guitar riffs. With all the time they had to fill, they could have easily filled it with mindless riffs and blast beats (not that there's anything necessarily wrong with those), but it's a nice change of pace to hear some interesting and technical music in those instrumental sections.
The music is paired nicely with an excellent combination of soaring clean vocals and intense screams and growls, both of which these guys are quite proficient with. The two vocalists, John Wesley and Michael Osborn (also the composer/bassist and drummer, respectively), also co-wrote the lyrics, using Philippians 3:12-14 as a basis. With an emphasis on pushing past the troubles of the world, the chorus says, "Onward, forward / leave behind your anguish / racing, reaching / gaze upon the splendour." But it doesn't leave you thinking that this can be done on our own strength, as the remainder of the lyrics testify to the majesty of God and His willingness to fight spiritual battles to save us. Perhaps my favorite portion is, "But with heart entrenched in mire / darkness beckons my heart to slumber / still You lay waste to the void / what trial has yet to halt my God? / does He yet shake the mountains? / does He still roar the seas? / the God of shepherds and lilies / yet still has eyes for me."
If you had never heard of Diatheke before today, "Splendour" is the perfect introduction. It highlights everything that this trio does well, making it the perfect jumping-off point into their other material. And as an added bonus, all of their original singles are available as a maxi-single with an instrumental version as well as an 8-bit version. If you're interested in metal with a melodic, progressive twist, "Splendour" is waiting for you wherever you consume music. I can't recommend it enough.- Review date: 7/14/21, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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