The thing is I’ve actually grown to like this record a good bit. It’s just that after the bloated pomposity of Worlds Apart, I expected so much more. This band had the music scene by the balls a mere four years ago with its heavily lauded opus, Source Tags & Codes. Guitars slung low and blaring with grand, recessive riffs and bleeding, guttural screams- it was the most exciting record of 2002 by a band poised to destroy everything in its path.
The rug got ripped right out from underneath it in the span of just two records. I’m not exactly sure how it all fell apart, especially since this band seemed to feed off drama and teetering on the brink of self-destruction. Was it bassist Neil Busch’s departure that set the downward spiral in motion?
Worlds Apart suffered from a lack of drive and intensity with a batch of mostly ho-hum tunes that paled in comparison to the band’s riotous beginnings. Just try to listen to Worlds Apart next to its self-titled Trance Records debut from 1998, and you can feel the dimming intensity and warmed over passion. So Divided definitely kicks off like the chip is back on Trail of Dead’s collective shoulder with “Stand in Silence”, but the experimental tangents stray too far from its core strengths to make the dent Conrad Keeley so desperately needed to make with this record in order to continue down a road he’s not even sure he wants to stay on.