Title: The Ruthless Divine
Genre: US Metal
Release Date: October 30th 2020
Label: Pure Steel Records
NIVIANE is a US Metal band that hails from Sacramento, California which was formed in 2014. The Line-Up mainly consists of old hands in the business like: Norman Skinner on vocals (ex-MACHINE CALLED MAN, HELLSCREAM, IMAGIKA, SKINNER etc), Rick Stahlkamp on bass ( ex-”21ST CENTURY SIN, ex- COLD COLOURS, ex- RESTRAYNED etc), Aaron Robitsch on Keys ( CREPUSCLE, GRAVESHADOW), Isaiah AR on drums (ex- RESTRAYNED), Mark Miner on guitar and last but not least Gary Tarplee on guitar numero due. Let’s check what the label has to say:
“NIVIANE continues to deliver their aggressive yet melodic sound that blends perfectly both the US-American and European styles.” The Ruthless Divine” features 10 brand new songs that can be described as if CAGE, IRON MAIDEN and ONWARD were jamming together ”
OK, the label is mostly correct with their description but let’s delete the IRON MAIDEN comparison and replace it with a much better one: ICED EARTH! And there we have the reason why I dig this record, Skinner has strong moments where he resembles Matt Barlow of ICED EARTH and because Matt is my favourite vocalist this propels the whole album to a whole other level of awesomeness. Don’t get me wrong, Norman does not rip off Barlow’s style he just has moments that remind me of him (and the moments he does not are still fucking dope). I also very much dig the more harsh vocal approach here and there. The drumming is also excellent and outstanding (“Like Lions”, “Sinking Ships”), same applies to the six – string section and Stahlkamp on bass. Every piece of music here is expertly executed and serves each other.
Conclusion: Check out “Sinking Ships” and “Like Lions” if those two gems don’t trigger you the right way nothing will.
Rating: 9 / 10