Review Summary: Diamond Plate is able to successfully mix progressiveness, melody, and aggressive thrash into one awesome CD.
I first discovered Diamond Plate through the front page of Earache’s main site. I was interested in them simply because of the title of their album. You have to admit that “Generation Why?” is a clever title, so I decided to check out the band. Earache had 2 songs uploaded, so I listened to them both.
The first song I listened to was “At the Mountains of Madness.” To me (and this is where the Diamond Plate fans might get angry), the song was extremely generic. I just didn’t find it as a standout song from the rest of the stuff I’ve listened to recently. The second song was the title track. It started off amazingly. I was extremely impressed by their use of octaves to create aggression, and by the construction of the riffs in the verses. However, I reached the chorus and modernization made its debut. I became extremely unhappy with the band.
Yet, I still had hope. After watching many other videos on Youtube, I came to realize how awesome the band actually was. Watching a live video of their cover of “Into the Pit” astounded me. I researched into them more, and read how everyone found their Relativity EP to be completely bad-ass. Thanks to these discoveries, I fell into the hype of the album.
After a few days, I found the album in a record store for only $9. I bought it and ran home to listen to it right away. The intro immediately caught my interest because of their blunt “today’s media sucks” approach. Then the title track came in and it had the same effect it originally had with me. However, from that point on, the album continued to impress and annoy me at the same time.
Each song was pretty awesome. They all had very interesting and progressive structures. I enjoy progressiveness greatly, so this album really impressed me because it was able to combine that with classic thrash aggression. Not only that, but the lyrics are a breath of fresh air. Instead of going for a “VIOLENCE, GORE, SODOMY, AND WAR” type theme, they decided to write about how ***ty society is today. I admire them for that because it’s something original in this new wave of thrash metal, and because they actually know what the hell they’re talking about. In fact, “Pull the trigger” is a metaphor about the music industry. They do this by comparing it to Russian Roulette. How awesome is that?
However, this album has a downside. Contradictory to its theme, the album suffers from modernization. Sadly, there are a lot of choruses that rely on a melodic sound. The good news is that they don’t seem to rely too heavily on choruses in the first place. The bad news is that it doesn’t stop the fact that the album has melodic choruses metalheads love to hate. That’s why I was annoyed and upset with Diamond Plate after listening to the album the first time.
Then I listened to it a second time. HOLY *** DID THE ALBUM GET AWESOME. I decided to try and accept the modern sound because Diamond Plate must’ve known what they were doing… right? The truth is… they really did. The melodies in their songs are simply their own twist on metal. They don’t abuse it like metalcore bands today, but actually use it in the correct sense. Add that to the fact that the album is awesome in the first place, and you get one hell of an album in the end.
What they do right is make their own type of metal. That’s what a lot of bands today seem to lack. Diamond Plate created a style that incorporates extreme aggression with a melodic sound without sacrificing anything. In addition to that, all their songs are able to stand out from each other. They have fast and aggressive songs, mid-tempo and heavy songs, quiet and melodic segments, an instrumental (which is appropriately titled “More Than Words”), and even an EPIC way to close off the record. The only real downside I see in the album now is that it’s a little too long to be as heavy as it is. They change it up once in a while, but it’s mainly thrash from beginning to end.
If you’re looking for something that isn’t thrash, then this album is obviously not for you. However, if you'd enjoy a thrash sound with a twist, this album is a breath of fresh air. I am definitely anticipating what Diamond Plate does next, because what they’ve done so far is pretty impressive in my eyes. Not to mention that I’ve finally realized that “At the Mountains of Madness” kicks some serious ass.