Benevolent & Divine “Hyacinth” (SINGLE)

America has a truly great tradition when it comes to making credible rock n’ roll that entire generations of fans have been able to relate to and take some influence from, and Benevolent & Divine is looking to continue that tradition this spring with a new single in “Hyacinth” that has been getting a lot of love from the rock faithful lately. While I love an alternative anthem as much as the next guy, a pure, uncontaminated slice of rock n’ roll heat can be impossible to turn down in the right circumstances, and in this respect, “Hyacinth” is arriving at the right moment.


Tone is pretty important to this act, and if it weren’t I don’t think that they would be spotlighting the warmth of the amplifiers like they are in this single. It’s one thing to give us a great guitar part presented with as little filtration between artist and audience as possible, but it’s something completely different to supply the grit and testosterone of a galloping groove through an uncorrupted amp, and the latter is what Benevolent & Divine dedicated themselves to doing with this release. They earn some serious credit for that, at least with a discriminating critic like myself.

The tempo here is rather insistent in style, but I don’t think that the artist sounds like they’re in a race for the chorus at all. When we get to the fever pitch of this single, the climax sounds a lot more like the epitome of sleek alternative rocking than it does heady thrashing metal, as does the bittersweet and stinging vocal harmony we run into in the build-up. There’s a lot of upended emotion that’s just begging to come undone in this piece, and when channeled in the right direction it ends up producing what could be some of the most affirming and punchy content this artist has recorded thus far.

Benevolent & Divine employs a thrashing bassline to attack the foundation the drums are putting up in “Hyacinth,” but this in turn serves as yet another example of their disciplined approach distinguishing this sound from that of the mainstream mundane. They could have let the rhythm of the percussion dictate a much punkier performance in this song than they did, and in giving themselves over to old-school metallic cosmetics, they prove to be more intrigued by a thick, molten-hot melody than they ever would be a pointless show of strength in the booth.

If you dig real rock n’ roll the way it was always meant to be played, you will not want to miss what Benevolent & Divine is slinging in the new single “Hyacinth” this spring season. America’s rock and metal underground has been abuzz with talk of new emerging talents and what they might contribute to a globally-marketable genre of heavy music on the verge of becoming huge everywhere, but I haven’t heard as much about Benevolent & Divine as I should have. They’re looking to drop a game-changer here, and to me, they hit it out of the park with “Hyacinth.”

Mark Druery


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