Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Leeds trio go back to where it all began
Leeds band Divided by Design have reworked and reimagined four previous singles that introduced their music to the prog metal scene for their latest release. 'The Catalyst EP' is filled with the very same complexity and cinematic soundscapes that drove their debut 'Stages of Osiris'. There are similarities to both albums in terms of tone but also through musical motifs. The idea of a thread that binds their work together adds further congruence to their musical universe. It's sci-fi, film score and yes even video game wrapped into a pummelling and hypnotic musical vortex where it's easy to lose yourself.
'Pillara' feels as though it's literally inspired by the genus of sheet web spiders (thank you Google). It's layered with supreme elegance and high speed scuttling guitar work. 'Regeneration' touches on the grief stages from the previous album with more of the spiderish guitar work following behind. There's a clear melody running through the track that could easily lend itself to vocals, but this is steadfastly an instrumental album and atmospherics are what drives it forwards on every level. 'Exulansis' is somewhat introspective and more jazz-inspired in the way it's delivered. It's the sort of track that propels the band into the realms of nu-prog stalwarts like Haken.
The four-track EP runs at just over 18 minutes, which could easily be the time frame of a single prog track. The bite-sized entries into the world of Divided by Design show the quality of their instrumentation and the spark that started it all.
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