The Sonic Phenomenon Known As DIVINITY

The Sonic Phenomenon Known As DIVINITY

It is said that given the right conditions, anything can happen. It's no wonder that seemingly small coincidences coalesced within a very specific time window at a very specific geographical location in western Canada to give rise to the sonic phenomenon known as DIVINITY.

The Early Years (1997 - 2006)

The Early Years (1997 - 2006)

While singer/guitarist, Sean Jenkins, was still in high school, jamming in his parents basement with friends in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, his life path crossed with guitarist, James Duncan, creating the solid foundation DIVINITY would later come to rest on. Leaving the comforts of their rehearsal space to test their skills in a live setting, the Canadian natives made their on-stage debut by playing live "Battle of the Bands" shows in Calgary. Several years and several line-up changes later, the chemistry created by the addition of drummer, Brett Duncan, and bass player/singer, Jeff Waite, prompted the band to record their five-song Intensify EP. A year or two after their EP release, the band started to see more change was required to achieve the sound they were looking for. Deciding on a dual guitar approach, Sacha Laskow was recruited into the band's ranks, and when Nick Foster was enlisted to handle bass duties, DIVINITY had at last found their missing elements.

Signing with a Major Label or Two (2007 - 2010)

Signing with a Major Label or Two (2007 - 2010)

Brought together by serendipity and gifted with the sight to see the necessity of and place for variety, a surging creativity has always fueled these talented, similarly-minded musicians. Armed with his own arsenal of growls, high-pitched screams, and melodic clean vocals, founding DIVINITY member and lead singer Sean Jenkins had successfully overseen the amalgamation of multiple genres: a crushing thrash attitude with complex progressive metal arrangements and brutal death metal overtones. The resulting compositions are devastating. The poise of each song's shifting time signatures and their unpredictable rhythmic insanities alone will easily qualify DIVINITY's first album, Allegory, as one of the more memorable aural assaults of 2007.

Just 4 months after releasing Allegory independently, the band was approached by major label, Nuclear Blast Records, with a record deal offer already on the table. DIVINITY was about to take a huge leap into the world wide heavy metal scene and called a lawyer and jumped in head first. This period was a very exciting and eye-opening experience in countless ways for the band. The guys were now talking with all kinds of major players in many different facets of the music industry. Releasing music videos, doing interviews with people from around the world, talking to booking agents, band managers, entertainment lawyers, the list went on and on for the numerous amazing things happening for DIVINITY. A huge learning curve also became apparent along with an even bigger struggle to find financial support to run the ever growing business side of things.

The band percevered and managed to jump on one of the greatest Death Metal festival tours, Summer Slaughter Canada, in 2008 featuring Necrophagist and Dying Fetus as headliners. These were some of the most memorable and most exciting shows to date. Things were really heating up for the band and they knew it was time to get back in the studio and pump out another great record to keep the momentum going.

In 2009, DIVINITY hit the studio and started to create their follow up full-length album, The Singularity. The band and Nuclear Blast parted ways but was able to work out a new record deal with UK based label, Candlelight Reocrds, for the new album.

Featuring guest death vocals by long-time friend and past bass player, Jeff Waite, and harmony vocals by Jerrod Maxwell-Lyster (Every Hour Kills), The Singularity's intricate riffs, plunging grooves, and melodic passages can carry you through the expansive landscape of the soul. Lyrically tackling the themes of substance abuse, the turmoil of relationships, survival in the midst of adversity, the chaos of existence and humanity's battle against technology, Jenkins explores the parameters of the human voice while capable shredders James Duncan and Sacha Laskow weave their unyielding riffs and solos throughout as the rhythm section of Brett Duncan and Nick Foster aptly demonstrates a very feral meticulousness. 'Transformation', 'Beg to Consume', and 'Emergent' all exhibit DIVINITY's dynamic and ferocious range.

Time for a change... Again (2010 - 2011)

Time for a change... Again (2010 - 2011)

In 2010, After coming home from a long distance Canadian tour, totalling over 11,000 kilometers of driving on that tour alone, the band had started to hit a wall with how to progress forward. Much of the bands financial support had been exhausted along with the overall attitude of the band. It became apparent the band needed to take a break. In 2011, the members of DIVINITY, for the first time in their entire career, took an actual break from playing and writing and putting the band itself on hiatus. Sacha Laskow decided to move on in another direction starting his current band, Every Hour Kills. The others also went in their own directions but kept in touch.

A Whole New Attitude (2012)

A Whole New Attitude (2012)

It wasn't too long until the itch to play music could not be tolerated any longer. In early 2012, founding members, Sean Jenkins and Jame Duncan, decided it was time to bring the band back but with a fresh attitude based on the roots of why the band had found their success; the simple love and passion to play killer heavy metal music. That's it. It's that simple.

The Trilogy EP Concept (2013 - 2016)

The Trilogy EP Concept (2013 - 2016)

This new type of thinking spawned the idea of doing a Trilogy concept album. The idea was to create 3 EP albums consisting of 4 songs that would contain lyrical and musical themes based on concept story. The band had created a concept and started building song ideas and storyline content. The Immortalist Trilogy was born and began to take shape.

Adding in past bass player, Jeff Waite, as a 2nd vocalist really changed the dynamic of the band. This would lead to further changing the sound and evolving the band's direction.

In 2015, Nick Foster decided to part ways with the band. It was tough to see Nick move on but the band was happy to have him as the DIVINITY bass player through some of our strongest and toughest times of the band's career. He will always be a brother to them.

In early 2016, DIVINITY relased the second part to The Immortalist Trilogy and couldn't be more excited to unleash their 4 new songs as well as finish writing and recording of part 3! DIVINITY was able to find a new bass player, Keith Branston, who has been a long-time fan of the band and also plays guitar in his own band called, The Archon Prophecy.

A quick tour with Devin Townsend

A quick tour with Devin Townsend

During the later part of August 2016, Divinity managed to line up a quick 4 show tour across Western Canada with none other than the Devin Townsend Project. Starting in Kelowna, B.C., at the Hell Raiser Metalfest, the band could not contain their excitement. The tour also had California atmospheric death metal band, Fallujah, which were also a powerhouse of an act to also support on tour.

In just 4 shows, the band made strong friendships and really connected to the entire crew. It was an amazing quick and dirty tour with one of their biggest influences in music. Good times were had.

 

2017

2017

Here we are, the present...

The band has pushed to it's fullest and have created a masterpiece of a third full length album. The Immortalist trilogy is complete and the boys in the band couldn't be happier with how it has all turned out.

Sean Jenkins | Lead Vocals

Sean Jenkins | Lead Vocals

Position In Band

Lead Vocals, Lyricist, Music Composer, Graphic Design, Website Design, Video Production, Band Room Sanitation Manager

Musical Influences

Devin Townsend, Bjorn "Speed" Strid, Mikael Åkerfeldt, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, Peter Tägtgren, James Hetfield, Warrel Dane

Favorite Bands

Soilwork, Gojira, Devin Townsend Project, Nevermore, Opeth, Sikth, Meshuggah, Textures, Testament, Death, Strapping Young Lad (RIP), Between The Buried And Me, Chaos Divine, Cattle Decapitation... The list goes on.

Other Hobbies

Heavy metal, movies - mostly documentary, friends, playing guitar, jamming/recording, jogging/walking, biking, hiking/camping in the mountains, cats, surfing the internets.

Musical Background

Sean began his musical career in Junior High when he decided to learn how to play the trumpet. After a couple of years, he found himself in jazz bands and wind ensambles playing classical and jazz music all the time. He then happened to hear Metallica on the radio one day and was instantly hooked. He gathered up as much money as he could and bought a guitar (it was a piece of crap). He instantly figured out how to play the beginning of 'One' by Metallica and fell in love with guitar and the entire heavy metal lifestyle; all by the age of 16.

Jeff

Jeff "Beast" Waite | Vocals

 

Position In Band

Vocals, Lyricist, Laughs, Beast Mode, French Translator

Musical Influences

Jeff Healey, Megadeth, Bloodbath, Carcass, At The Gates, Ray Stevens, Vincent Price, Iron Maiden, Micheal Jackson, CCR, Sam Cooke, Cattle Decapitation, Triumph, Porcupine Tree, Death, Testament, Slayer, Pantara, Motley Crue, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, almost all 50's and 60's.

Favorite Bands

Darkane, Soilwork, Meshuggah, Primus, Martyr, Sikth, Scarve, Zimmer's Hole, Into Eternity, Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Buckethead, Satyricon, The Rolling Stones, Beyond Creation, Quo Vadis, Macabre, Mushroomhead, Mercenary, Labyrinth.

Other Hobbies

Comedy (laughing), Horror and B movie collector, Hockey, Fart Casting, Pets, Gaming, Coin Collecting, Chess, Drama, Beard Growing, Weight Lifting and Dennis... 

Musical Background

Started playing bass guitar at 15 but have been singing my entire life. 1st had training in choirs. Used my musical abilities lots in comedy and drama. Brief stint in an alternative band on bass named On The Verge but my 1st serious music venture was Divinity. Joined in 2000 at 20 years of age. Played bass 00-04. Joined Insidious (vocals) 05-06. Recorded Those Who Remain "Still" EP in 08. Did backup vocals on The Singularity. (whatever year that was lol 10?) And rejoined in (whatever year awestruck) but had an absence for one yearish to work. But came back in 13 or 12? as a permanent vocalist to current. And Dennis always loomed..

James Duncan | Guitars

James Duncan | Guitars

Position In Band

Guitars, Lyricist, Music Composer, Deputy Commander

Musical Influences

Old Metallica, Meat Loaf, Def Leppard, Soilwork, Eddie Van Halen, Devin Townsend, Arjen Luccasen, Paul Stanley, Eric Peterson, Chuck Schuldiner, John Schaffer, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather

Favorite Bands

Old Metallica, Def Leppard, KISS, Devin Townsend Band, Death, Soilwork, Van Halen, OZZY, Zakk, Testament, John Mayer, Cannibal Corpse, AC/DC, Evergrey, Blotted Science, Iced Earth, Into Eternity,  Annihilator, Pagan’s Mind, Scarve, Opeth, Mercenary, Riverside, Jorn Lande, Anthrax, Porcupine Tree, Warrant

Other Hobbies

Mountain Biking, Skiing, Firearms, Hockey, Comedy, Sci Fi, Conspiracy Theories, Mountains, Hot Springs

Musical Background

Began piano lessons at 5 years old.  Completed Grade 8 Royal Conservatory piano.  Started playing guitar at 14.  Started with Metallica and Slayer riffs, jamming with my brother Brett.  I met Sean Jenkins when I was 19 and began the long journey of Divinity.  Highlights of my musical career include: signing to Nuclear Blast Records, Summer Slaughter Canada Tour 2008, working with renowned producer Michael Wagener on all 3 “Marija” albums, headlining the Blue Feather Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon, with Marija in 2010, wrote and produced theme song for the monster truck, “Lucas Oil Crusader”, with members of Divinity.

Gord Olson | Guitars

Gord Olson | Guitars

Position In Band

Guitarist

Musical Influences

Uli Jon Roth, Alex Skolnick, Marty Friedman, Frank Gambale, Vinnie Moore, Greg Howe, Chuck Schuldiner, Bill Steer, Trey Azagthoth, John McEntee, Ihsahn, Astennu, Johann Sebastian Bach

Favorite Bands

(In no particular order), Death, Morbid Angel, Incantation, Immolation, Seance, Unleashed, Necrophobic, Demigod, Atheist, Pestilence, Malevolent Creation, Mörk Gryning, Emperor, Lord Belial, (pre-Black) Metallica, (pre-Countdown) Megadeth, Exodus, Testament, Vio-Lence, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Vicious Rumors, Nevermore, Animal Alpha, Djerv, Firespawn, Mercyless, Dismember, etc. etc. etc.

Other Hobbies

Music production, Photography, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and being reclusive.

Musical Background

Played trumpet in elementary school. Outside of school I did drums for a couple years, and finally became obsessed with the guitar at age 13. Self-taught, no formal musical training aside from the few years of grade school band.

Brett Duncan | Drums

Brett Duncan | Drums

 

Position In Band

Drums, Dad, Diaper Changer, Corgi Walker

Musical Influences

Hetfield & Ulrich, Stanley & Simmons, the Abbott brothers, Hakke, and everyone involved in the making of def leppard's 'hysteria'. 

Favorite Bands

Kiss, Metallica, slayer and pantera are all time favorites. Also meshuggah, cryptopsy, SYL, soilwork. Let's not forget Weird Al. 

Other Hobbies

Muay Thai, water skiing, changing diapers, picking things up, then putting them down, making holes in objects with firearms, and just really giving a shit. 

Musical Background

Grade 6 royal conservatory piano, grade 1 theory. Learned to play 'down on the corner' on guitar. Learned to play 'I love rock n roll' on bass.
Then played drums for 21 years. 

Keith Branston | Bass

Keith Branston | Bass

Position In Band

Bass Guitar

Musical Influences

Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Mayer, David Gilmore, Robert Trulillo, Les Claypool, Stu Hamm. 

Favorite Bands

Soilwork, Gorjira, All That Remains, Yngwie Malmsteen, Opeth, Sylosis, Metallica, Tool, 2pac.  

Other Hobbies

Making music, Cooking delicious food for my Wife, Gym, Game Of Thrones and anything Marvel/DC.  

Musical Background

I learned to play music from my father, who was a flamenco guitarist, he taught me all the basics need to progress as a self taught musician. I started guitar young, learning everything I could, yngwie, primus, Satriani, buckethead, Vai. I found myself writing more then learning, so started playing bass to write bass lines then looking at the greats to pull influence from them. Bands I've played in around Calgary; We found the body, Brimstone Rise, Archelaos, The Archon Prophecy.