A quick check on Google tells me that paramnesia is; “a condition or phenomenon involving distorted memory or confusions of fact and fantasy, such as confabulation or déjà vu”. So there you have it, a new word has been learned today, and that sense of déjà vu washes over as yet another new(ish) band appears on the radar. As good as it is hearing new music from established acts, it’s always a bonus when you hear quality music from a band that you are discovering for the first time. Canadians The Divided Line have been around for a few years in one guise or another, and after a short break to regroup, they bounced back with a new vocalist (Greg Cave) and drummer (Luke Scott). ‘Paramnesia’ is the sound of a band firing on all cylinders, and for a self released EP, the production is of the highest quality.
Progressive rock/metal can be quite divisive, as parts of the genre are blighted with self-indulgent over playing, but while a lot of the elements of prog are evident on ‘Paramnesia’, the over-playing element is not one of them, thankfully. The radio friendly grooves and arena warming hooks provide the dividing line (sorry!) to the hard hitting sounds. Vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, Cave has a voice that is instantly warm and familiar, but also one that has a tale to tell, and the scars to prove it. At six tracks, and thirty minutes long, ‘Paramnesia’ is alluring from the off. Opening track ‘Breathe’ has a guitar sound that has you checking that Blair Barton is indeed the sole guitarist on the EP. Barton stays in the background when subtlety is required, only stepping forward to produce spellbinding solos when called upon. That’s what I feel makes The Divided Line stand out. You know the solos are coming, and when they do, Barton reins in the urge to be flash. He’s hardly restrained though, as ‘Dimensional’ features a stunning mix of fatter-than-fat power chords and groove-ilicious riffs. The drumming… wow! Powerful stuff from Luke Scott and Phil Elliott (who plays on ‘Breathe’ and ‘My Confession’), and it’s fantastic to hear the drums so high up in the mix. Through the first five tracks (the brooding ‘Deja’ being the favourite), the overall sensation is one of an album gradually building towards an epic climax. That would be closing track ‘Sync-Wave’, then. The haunting, atmospheric intro slowly ensnares the listener as the tale begins to unfold. What follows is a mesmerizing five minutes of bazooka sized bass lines from Reza Shaffaf, pounding drums, some stunning guitar work (gotta love the wah wah effects), and a vocal performance that simply soars. Not so much saving the best for last, more than the tale reaching a natural conclusion. Stunning stuff.
‘Paramnesia’ is already available digitally, but gets it’s physical release on February 23rd. More information here.