Andover band Bitter Divide have been described by some as providing ‘the UK’s missing link between rock and metal,’ due to the band’s infectious rocky vocals amid a backdrop of metal riffs, solos and driving drums. No pressure there then.
The quintet of Mojo (vocals), Si (lead guitar), Dave (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), Russ (bass) and Ben (drums) first formed back in October 2012, forming from previous bands across the UK. They’ve since honed a heavy melodic metal sound
The most recent offering of this is a fantastic live recording of Soldier, which is available now on Bandcamp. It opens up with a punchy guitar riff that continues into rolling riffs and driving drums under powerful vocals. A cool little guitar blast leads into an awesome little metal riff that feeds into a singalong chorus dominated by Mojo’s huge vocals. A second chorus gives way to a massive high-pitched solo. It’s awesome.
In terms of recorded music their latest release is last year’s EP Untold, from which the opening track Bridges sums up the Bitter Divide sound. A big jumpy guitar riff kicks things off then drops into a verse of vocals over stabby guitars, including the cool repeated line “So go and grab some beers and wipe away those tears, Living life is free so come on drink with me.” A second chorus is followed by rolling guitar riffs and drums, then crashes of cymbals that continue over building vocals then a big guitar solo.
Third track Portrait shows a more melodic side to the band, opening up with a cool low-tuned guitar riff which continues into the verse, where it imitates the melody of Mojo’s engaging vocals “I’m not a picture of mental health, And I’m not a danger to myself, I believe I gave you my all, But you pushed some more until I fall, No I’m not a picture of mental health, And I’m not a danger to myself, You got me backed up against the wall, But I won’t react until I hear you call.” A big wall of guitars kicks in under more intense vocals, then ends with the big opening guitar riff followed by a slight variation on the opening verse. A huge guitar solo follows and gives way to a final powerful chorus.
As the band explain to us: “Music is a passion for all of us, whether playing in Bitter Divide or supporting our favourite bands by going to gigs and festivals or buying the latest releases. It’s in our blood and has been all our lives. As a band we are always growing and refining our music and stagecraft. We want to put on the best show we can to promote our music and passion we have for it.”
The band tell us their key musical influences are the likes of AC/DC, Disturbed, Black Stone Cherry, Machine Head and Killswitch Engage, but there’s more than a little of Alter Bride about their big rock meets metal sound.
And when it comes to writing music, they explain: “Inspiration comes from life all around us, influences to lyrical writing, especially. It can be anything from a life experience to a news article! We live for the creativity of the writing process. Taking inspiration from the music we love and each other.”
Is this the band that provides the UK with the missing link between rock and metal? Quite possibly, we love their high energy metal sound and infectious riffs, and there’s plenty more to come with their next album likely to be released next year.