The members of Los Angeles quartet Division Day found themselves at a crossroads in the aftermath of their first album, 2006’s “Beartrap Island, on which they admit they were trying to create a sound that would have mass appeal. Although it earned them a mention on the new incarnation of “Beverly Hills, 90210″ the pop-leaning musical path on which they had embarked left the members feeling disillusioned.
August 18, 2009
After splitting with their record label and deciding to self-finance their next album — “Visitation” out August 18 — the group found themselves with nothing to prove and nothing to lose as they were writing and recording the songs that would become “Visitation.” And it shows, with the result being a collection of uninhibited tracks that fuse the contemplative navel-gaze stylings of Radiohead with foreboding arrangements and frequently sinister vocals.
“Visitation” overall has a much darker tone than the band’s previous offering. The unnerving title track, for instance, describes the invasion of an unwanted, Grim Reaper-like guest whose status as real or imagined is left unclear. But nowhere is the new direction more evident than on “Surrender” an anxious blend of pre-programmed drums, processed vocals and other computerized effects.
“Planchette” starts as a subdued acoustic number, but eventually morphs into the band’s version of a power ballad, with singer Rohner Segnitz’s voice and a splintering guitar solo floating above the piano and crashing cymbals that keep the song grounded.
Softly bringing the album to a close is the ominously-titled “Black Crow. Segnitz bookends the song by initially singing “How did you find me? “¦ You come with a weapon” and eventually pleading with the bird by the end, “Don’t go.” It’s as if he’s embraced the dark and disturbing, and “Visitation” will likely inspire listeners to do the same.