DIVINE IN SIGHT is a spiritual art rock trio from the American Midwest playing album-oriented, progressively influenced, dramatic art rock music. Our debut album, Sorrow & Promise, features and hour-long rock opera.
Divine In Sight, as you might guess from the name, is a Christian Progressive Rock band, and in 2001 they released an album called SORROW & PROMISE. It is mostly a rock opera but with a couple of other tunes not directly related to the opera. I have to admit it ... I wanted to hate this album. In spite of having once been in a Christian Progressive Rock band myself at one time, most of the stuff I've heard that calls itself Christian prog has been pretty lame; watered down prog pop at best, and frequently poorly produced, relying on the "Christian charity" of their audiences to forgive their weaknesses. Add to that the fact that my personal spiritual leanings no longer tilt in the direction of Christianity and I was fully prepared to really dislike SORROW & PROMISE. But, it was not to be ... far from hating this album, I must say it's one of the best progressive albums I've heard so far in 2001...
Musically, the closest overall band I might compare them to would be Rush, with their melodic yet metallic electric guitar interspersed and sometimes intertwined with acoustic guitars, plus their reliance on "in-yer-face" harmonic and counterpoint bass lines. The keyboards and drums are competent, but not the prime ingredients in this music; those are the guitars and bass, and to a lesser extent the vocals. Bass player Jonathan Dexter is one of the finest bassists I've ever heard, with his Geddy Lee type fingering and Chris Squire Rickenbacker sound. He doesn't just sit in the background playing a boomy sustained tonic, the bass is equalized to accentuate the high end making the pitches easier to hear. (He also uses a 5-string Rickenbacker with an extra high "C" string at the top to play more in the guitar sonic spectrum). There are many places on the album where the bass is obviously the predominant instrument. Jonathan's bass figures frequently remind me of Chris Squire's (circa Relayer) also.
Bart Boge's guitars, songwriting and production are highly reminiscent of Queen, with vocals overdubbed to make huge chorales, and guitar sound and licks reminiscent of Brian May's. But, once again reminding of Rush, I sometimes think of Alex Lifeson as well, especially for some of the acoustic guitar parts. The unusually "crunchy" metal guitar in the "Overture", where all the themes of the rock opera are previewed, is fantastic, it gives me chills every time I hear it. From the screams of lost souls falling "Into the Abyss" to the trudging "March of the Damned", lots of sound effects pervade this production, making it bombastic, pretentious and self-important ... nothing wrong with that as long as they have the chops to pull it off, and these gents certainly do.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I highly recommend this CD. If you miss this one, you'll be missing out on a lot. I don't actually think your soul would be in peril if you didn't buy this CD, but ... hey, what do I know? Maybe you should go to the Divine In Sight web site and order a copy ... just to be on the safe side. Amen, Brother!
Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock
As far as I am concerned, the "Spiritual Progressive Art Rock Opera" that is SORROW & PROMISE surely deserves to take its place along side other classic concept albums such as Pink Floyd's The Wall and Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, even if on a smaller scale. It is a deep concept, and fully illustrated through the 11 movements or sections that make up S&P. I must say, that as a writer and producer myself, I am awestruck by such an incredible and elaborate production. There were many ways that DIS could have dropped the ball, by leaving out pieces of the puzzle or failing to fully communicate either the emotion or the depth of the story. But they pulled it off in its entirety, leaving me with no question about either the story or its conclusion. I simply cannot express how impressive I find this entire production...
Guitarist/Vocalist for AMERICA GOMORRAH
Lots of bands claim musical trendy or obscure influences, hoping for credibility by association. But few ever produce music that approach the quality of those influences, much less transcend them. Divine In Sight not only transcends, they are in a league all their own spearheaded by a true visionary, Bartholomew Boge, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter for the band. SORROW & PROMISE delivers a riveting musical narrative in this spiritual progressive rock opera of evil, betrayal, corruption, and greed. Boge embraces a plaintive, near ambient sound structure while occasionally unleashing torrid spasms of blinding guitar runs with nail biting suspense and unexpected twists. Alternating between gentle, haunting lyricism and musical exploration, Divine In Sight engages in instrumental warfare like no other. SORROW & PROMISE is a superbly crafted, provocative stunner.
The Global Muse