DIVINE EMPIRE, Nostradamus (2003, Century Media)
In the U.S., this was released by Olympic with a different cover, a bunch of skeletal remains, so we applaud Century Media Germany for releasing it over there with the only skeletal remain that matters. The skull sits in the foreground against a backdrop of one very dark night, or perhaps any given day of a nuclear winter — the black could be ash and other pollution permeating that distant collection of ruins. The dried blood in the eye sockets is disturbing. So, just what does this cover have to do with Nostradamus, the seer? Who knows. Maybe it’s his very skull? Or maybe in all his witchy mystic seeing, Nostradamus used a skull to divine the future. Divine…Nostradamus…waitaminute, have I stumbled upon Divine Empire drawing a clever and subtle line from their band name to the prophecies of Nostradamus? Nah, probably not.
Bread-and-butter, nothing-special death metal right here. It’s what Divine Empire have always specialized in. Might as well be a latter-day Malevolent Creation album for all I can tell. If competently played death metal is something you can’t get enough of, even if it is of the totally flavorless variety delivered here, then go for it.
— Friar Wagner