Dino Cazares: Double Treble

Originally published in Guitar World, Holiday 2009

Dino Cazares keeps Divine Heresy alive while reuniting with Fear Factory.

"Making this record was so stress-free that we thought something might be wrong,” Dino Cazares says with a laugh. He’s referring to the sessions for Bringer of Plagues, the second album by L.A.’s Divine Heresy. Cazares credits Travis Neal, the band’s new singer, with making the sessions so easy-going. Neal joined the group in 2008, replacing Tommy Vext. “With [Vext], there was always something wrong,” Cazares says. “But Travis is the shit! It almost got to the point in the studio where we felt like we should create some drama.”

And so they did, but in a musical form. Bringer of Plagues is an apocalyptic power-metal album with no shortage of technical or lyrical turmoil. In “Monolithic Doomsday Devices” Neal describes all manner of “end times” nastiness as bassist Joe Payne pile-drives a titanic machine-metal groove, while “The Battle of J. Casey” shows off Cazares’ tight bond with drummer Tim Yeung. “The number-one guy I connect with as a guitarist is my drummer,” Cazares says. “Once we have a vibe, I’m fucking happy.”

As it happens, Cazares wrote the album while simultaneously tending to his reunion with Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, the widely influential industrial metal group Cazares left in 2002. The guitarist says Bell approached him about a year ago and raised the idea of rejoining forces under the FF name. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tread into that water again,” Cazares admits, “but Burton assured me everything would be cool.” The two are currently at work on “some sick new music” with bassist Byron Stroud and drummer Gene Hoglan.

Cazares says he may even be up to the challenge of touring with both bands. “The only hard part would be being away from my dog and my wife.”

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