There are a few moments of heavy beauty on The Black Sea, the debut from San Diego’s Divided by Zero: the System of a Down vocal inflections in the chorus of “Double Negative”; the astonishingly precise double-bass assault and guitar solo near the end of “Chemical”; the seamless Anthrax-via-the Police-style shifts of “Ashes of Armies.”
But what faults this record, and this band, is that it’s no longer original to blend reggae and rock or even metal. And for every strong, intelligently heavy moment, there are countless pitfalls, from meaninglessly morbid lyrics such as “There’s a girl with a look / Of love on her face / Just one taste of blood / She’ll take over this place” from “Everyone (Is Living My Life),” to redundant, straight-ahead radio metal that sounded dated fifteen years ago. The final result of Dividing by Zero? Not much.