As Divine Grace


Lumo

As Divine Grace - Lumo ©1997 AvantGarde Music
1. Perpetual
2. In Low Spirits
3. Gash
4. Grimstone
5. The Bloomsearcher
6. Rosy Tale
7. Out Of The Azure
8. Wave Theory

As Divine Grace are a six piece Finnish band who play a style of doomy metal that takes on a very classy feel with their music. The music is based around the soprano, airy singing of Hanna Kalske, who reminds me a bit of the singers from Miranda Sex Garden. Much of Lumo, the band's full length debut, is a serene, quietly moving record that threads together atmospheric qualities such as floating keyboards, acoustic guitars and soft, contemplative passages with heavier moments that are somewhat similiar to the style many Napalm Records bands are playing these days. The guitarists tend to play, slow leads reminiscient, albeit slightly, of My Dying Bride. The songs tend to be rather long and involved, which makes this record one of those albums you can only play when you're in a particular mood. However, when you are in the mood for it, the album is quite rewarding and worth the effort. In summation, those who are into the softer doom or romantic form of the style such less experimental The 3rd & the Mortal might do well in searching Lumo out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2001

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Supremature

As Divine Grace - Supremature ©1999 AvantGarde Music
1. Your Julie
2. Morbide
3. Personal
4. Tango
5. Shelter
6. Fericious
7. Be Used
8. The Most
9. Andre
10. Rhizome

Few bands verge upon perfection, and even fewer can grasp its elusive beauty. As Divine Grace have succeeded where most have faltered, for they have created in Supremature the consummation of aural quintessence. The music, expressed by themselves as "towards melancholy and melodic richness," reveals more of itself with each passing listen, as if the previous hearings were merely gestation periods for this godchild. As Divine Grace play moody indie rock more than anything, though their metal past is still conspicuous, particularly on more straightforward songs like "Personal" and "Shelter." Pensive and sad, the music makes me feel like I've been transplanted into a Federico Fellini movie, for its ambience brings to mind a film soundtrack. My personal favorite is the suggestive, solemn "Tango," a song for the ages. Interlaced acoustic and electric guitars, backed by keyboards, create a quiet, modern, and strangely spiritual atmosphere that I can't satisfactorily describe with words. Miss Hanna Kalske is the band's frontwoman, and she handles the vocal role admirably. Uneasy, aloof, and ethereal, her voice once again reminds me of the movies of Fellini and Ingmar Bergman, though for the life of me I couldn't explain why. I suppose she resembles Ann-Mari Edvardsen (formerly of The 3rd and the Mortal) more closely than anyone else, but even that is an imprecise analogy.

The promo version of Supremature doesn't include any lyrics; a shame, because I know I would have taken pleasure from reading them. As Divine Grace are dreadfully under-appreciated, and if there is any justice in this world, they will become pillars in the gothic/atmospheric metal scene.

Avant-garde? Indeed, for a bold artistic statement has been made.

(Making a late addition to this review, I recently had the opportunity to read the lyrics to three songs from Supremature. Jukka posted them on the band's webpage, and I felt obliged to say that they are poems of the highest quality and expressiveness.)

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 11/1999

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