Review: The Color Morale – Desolate Divine

Artist: The Color Morale
Album: Desolate Divine
Rating: 9.5/10

A message of hope, strength and perseverance is something that is synonymous with the name The Color Morale, at this point in the band’s career. Beginning their career as an aggressive, punchy and angsty metalcore band… they’ve evolved into the forefront of their genre, in many ways. 2013’s Know Hope began a huge change for them, namely vocalist Garret Rapp, who was going through the most trying point in his life, thus far, and attributes writing the record to his being alive today. That album was Rapp at his most vulnerable, really letting fans into his struggles and could even be considered a cry for help in many ways. Since that point, Rapp has been instrumental in helping fans through their own trying times, through the music of TCM. With his evolution as an individual, came the evolution of Rapp as a writer, along with bassist Aaron Saunders. It is that fact that sees their latest album, Desolate Divine, as some of their best material to date. If you’re not a fan of the fact that the band has added more and more melody to their music over the past few years, well… you might as well close this review. On their 5th studio album, you hear Rapp scream one line. That’s not to say that there aren’t more screams on the album, rather it’s Saunders who takes his place. What does Desolate Divine mean to you, though? To me, it’s finding beauty in any negative situation that’s thrown at you. It’s realizing that, without chaos, there could be no beauty… and vice versa. Perhaps that doesn’t sound ideal but there always has to be a balance between good & bad, or else life wouldn’t be worth living. It’s realizing that, in a world that’s headed for complete desolation… there’s still a light of divinity, shining bright… even if it’s hidden by dark clouds.

There is a slightly more aggressive air in parts of this album, if that’s what you’ve been waiting to hear. However, don”t get TOO excited because it’s not anywhere near what fans of We All Have Demons or My Devil In Your Eyes have been craving. Tracks like “Clip Paper Wings,” “Walls,” and “Trail of Blood” all have some pretty heavy riffs, along with some perfectly-placed screams but are rooted in melody, for the most part. Throughout the album, you’ll notice some pretty dark subjects. After all, this band has never been shy about bringing light to the more negative aspects of life, however… they all carry a strong message of hope and perseverance through them. If anything, this album feels more theatrical than any of their previous material. Whether that was a clear intention or pure coincidence, has remained to be seen but you can feel there’s a central theme, slowly revealed to you, song by song. I’m known to use terms like “the beast perfectly syncs with the beauty” for albums that are equal parts aggression and melody. For this album, though, melody far outweighs aggression, still married in sound but the aggression is more masked by the melody.

Desolate Divine is TCM honed into their skills. Over the past few albums, they’ve really began to embrace a new sound and this album sees them really locked into it. Personally, I prefer this version of TCM over their humble beginnings as a band. It’s beautiful, it’s atmospheric and it’s just what a listener needs to hear, if they’re stuck in a rut in life. If you weren’t sold on the album, after reading this review, take the time to check it out for yourself. I believe that Desolate Divine is one of those “you’ll either love it or hate it” types of albums and I happen to fall into the “love it” category. Pick up your copy of Desolate Divine, out now on Fearless Records, by using the links below! The band will play their CD release show at The Garage in Burnsville, MN tonight, a free acoustic show at Culture Shock Records in Rockford, IL, this coming Thursday, an in-store at Exclusive Records in Milwaukee, WI on Friday and then, they’ll take some much needed time off before embarking on the “Face to Face” tour with Hands Like Houses (Rise Records), Our Last Night (Independent) and Out Came the Wolves (Roadrunner Records) this November!

Buy Desolate Divine
Physical | iTunes | Amazon

“Walls” (Official Music Video)

The Color Morale is:
Garret Rapp – Vocals – @garretrapp
Devin King – Guitar – @devinhasabeard
Steve Carey – Drums – @tcmsteve
Aaron Saunders – Guitar – @aaron_eugene
Mike Honson – Bass – @mikehonson

The Color Morale on Social Media:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

08/21 – Burnsville, MN @ The Garage
08/24 – Rockford, IL – In-store @ Culture Shock
08/25 – Chicago, IL – In-store @ Shuga Records

Tour Dates (w/ Our Last Night, Hands Like Houses, Out Came The Wolves):

11/04 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
11/05 – Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
11/06 – Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto
11/08 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
11/09 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
11/10 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues (Parish)
11/12 – Lake Park, FL @ Kelsey Theater
11/13 – Orlando, FL @ The Social 
11/15 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade 
11/16 – Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
11/17 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
11/18 – Richmond, VA @ The Canal Club 
11/19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel Club Lounge
11/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/23 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
11/25 – Whitehall, PA @ Planet Trog
11/26 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall (Marlin Room)
11/27 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
11/29 – Syracuse, NY @ The Lost Horizon
11/30 – Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck Bar
12/01 – Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot Ballroom
12/02 – Columbus, OH @ Park Street Saloon
12/03 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
12/04 – Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
12/05 – Burnsville, MN @ The Garage
12/07 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
12/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
12/10 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
12/11 – Portland, OR @ Analog Theater
12/13 – Orangevale, CA @ The Boardwalk