Divine Empire was formed in late 1997 by Jason Blachowicz, J.P. Soars & Derik Roddy, the trio played together on Malevolent Creation's sixth cd "In Cold Blood", Jason is Malevolent's original "Thunderous" bass player performing on their first six albums during a ten year career with the band ("The Ten Commandments" through "In Cold Blood, performing all vocals on "Eternal" "Joe Black" & "In Cold Blood") so yes there is definitely Malevolent blood in this band.
The trio quit Malevolent on different occasions due to personal reasons, they connected well when they jammed together and weren't doing anything at the time, so the three of them stayed in contact with one another, then decided to reform & record a seven song demo achieving interest from many labels.
Eventually Divine Empire signed with Olympic Recordings, distributed through Mercury and resulting in their first album "Redemption" released in 1998, which did very well and landed them on two successful major U.S.Tours, one with Cryptopsy, Gorguts & Vader, the other with Witchery, Borknagar and Emperor! After the second tour, Jason & J.P. parted ways with Derik Roddy due to personal reasons.
During the creation process of the second album "Doomed To Inherit" released in '2000' by "Olympic Recordings" now distributed through "Century Media", Divine Empire recruited ex-Malevolent skinsman Alex "Cuidate Del Traidor" Marquez ("Retribution") hoping there would be great controversy with his return.