I like how metal bands and musicians are constantly willing to experiment with the core sounds. Metal taken as a whole is really diverse and you constantly see variations of themes, as certain influences and styles are added to existing genres. I also like how in Europe, genres of metal never really die out like they do in the states. Regardless of what era the music originated from, European fans never seem to disregard it as a trend once the novelty wears off.
On “The Binding Cycle”, The Fallen Divine are playing a mix of melodic death metal, with a (mostly) subtle infusion of strains of traditional instruments in the vein of pagan metal. For me, the melodeath sound is one of the classic, quintessential sounds of the heavy metal spectrum.
“The Binding Cycle” is that kind of album. A headbanging, invisible orange holding, rocking out slab of goodness. Except on the track ‘Northern Lights’. This one track is why I said the pagan metal influences are mostly subtle. In the middle of the song, the metal stops and we the listener are treated to an extended flute solo and some very new age sounding guitar noodling. It just immediately took me out of the music. It didn’t make me think of ancient times and battles of yore or anything; it was just very out of place. The music goes back to being completely metal after that, and I was grateful, but that was a fairly significant hiccup.
“The Binding Cycle” isn’t going to change anyone’s life or be a definitive album for the genre. That’s alright though, it doesn’t have to. It’s enough for an album to be supremely competent and enjoyable.