When I first heard Artery Recordings all-female sensation, Conquer Divide, I was instantly impressed. After all, it’s not often that you come across the caliber of musicianship that these ladies possess. What’s more is that some of them are from entirely different portions of the world! With the release of “At War,” you felt an immediate sense of the talent in this band as a whole. It wasn’t just the vocals that drew you in, it was the atmosphere, the sense of urgency and the beauty lying within it all. With the long-awaited release of their debut, self-titled album though… they’ve captured the essence of who they are and why they seek to create the music that they create. The best part of this band, though? You can’t really pigeon-hole them into one genre. You can go from getting aggressive, gritty, well-articulated verses from new-found screamer Janel Monique and then you turn around and get beautiful, soaring choruses from clean singer Kiarely Castillo and everything in-between!
We’ll start off with talking about one of my favorite tracks, “What’s Left Inside.” This is one of the very few songs on the album that is centric around a melancholy subject but sounds pretty upbeat, lifting the listener up. While it definitely features a lot of core elements, centered in rock, it’s got a pop-infused sugar coating to it. As Kiarely sings, if you’re feeling down… you’ll find some strength in this song by the end. You may be crying it all out or realizing exactly what this track is meant to do, which is to take those broken wings and help you fly again. The beginning sounds darker and sets the scene for you to do exactly that. “Are you happy now? Are you happy now? Can you look me in the eye and tell me everything is fine? Are you happy now? Are you happy now? You just can’t apologize, leave me broken inside (what’s left inside). What’s left inside? What’s left inside? I don’t know what’s left inside…” These lyrics (drawn from the chorus) will either break you down or pull you up, in the end… you’ll find out.
“At War” was the very first song I ever heard by this band. This song, in its first form, was immediately impressive to me. There’s something about the way that the riffs transition from acoustic-electric over to metal insanity, bringing Janel’s full-figured screams into the fold, perfectly timed. This track is about never giving up, fighting for your dreams and making sure you never give up on them…. no matter the cost. As mentioned before, this track has a sense of urgency to it… making you feel prepared to stand and fight. Maybe you’re looking to give up on things yourself? Listen to this track and tell me if you still feel that way…
If you’d rather a song that brings both anger and sadness within a few breaths, you’ll prefer “Nightmares.” The song, which just had a video released for it recently (see below), is about escaping the things that are pulling you down. Nightmares are designed to scare you, to chase you away from the things that you desire and to ultimately make you uncertain of certain things in your life. This instance seems to stem from a poisonous relationship and a constant desire to leave it in the dust.
Lyrically and musically this album is full of things to love. If you enjoy fast-paced metal with killer female vocalists (such as Kittie) you will definitely find this enjoyable. What’s more is that these gals bring these songs to life in a way you wouldn’t imagine live! Such charisma and energy… go catch them at a show. More importantly, Conquer Divide, is out now on Artery Recordings and you should get out there and pick it up!
“What’s Left Inside” (Official Music Video) “At War” (Official Lyric Video) “Nightmares” (Official Music Video) Conquer Divide is:
Janel Monique – Vocals (Screams)
Kiarely Castillo – Vocals (Clean)
Izzy Johnson – Guitar
Kristen Marie – Guitar
Ashley Colby- Bass
Tamara Tadic – Drums