Review Summary: "Diamond" is the gem of Stick To Your Guns' career.
I have never personally been highly interested in Hardcore music. I found bands like Parkway Drive and Hatebreed boring, due to the bland, screaming vocals for the duration of every song. Stick To Your Guns was a band I found myself listening to in late 2011, when their latest album was "The Hope Division". It wasn't a bad album with some brilliant tracks but also with large inconsistency between songs. "Diamond" has fixed this issue, and there are many reasons why it tops it predecessor.
Stick To Your Guns is undoubtedly a Hardcore band. There are breakdowns in just about every one of their songs, catchy guitar hooks and the occasional melody. "Diamond" is a big step in a different direction for the band. Their Hardcore aspects are back, but for the first time in the band's history, it feels like they have finally decided on what type of music they want to make, and consequently, they have produced an excellent album.
To break the album down, there are twelve tracks with surprisingly no "fillers". Every track flows exceptionally well into the next, keeping you interested for the entire duration. The album starts with the typical historic quotes that Stick To Your Guns is well known for, and fans wouldn't be surprised to find that their latest effort is choc-full of them. They can be tedious after a few listens, but serve as a good way to set the mood. Jesse's vocals are very unique in the sense that they are heavy, yet still easy to understand. He is a very powerful vocalist who brings his creativity and beliefs across to such a degree that fans will be easily captivated.
Variety is a strong point for "Diamond". There are the typical Hardcore breakdowns in "Such Pain" and "Life In A Box", but I was surprised to find that this album has much more of a lighter side to it. Clean vocals are present in many songs such as album highlights "Beyond The Sun", "Built Upon The Sand" and "Ring Loud (Last Hope)". But this effort is not so predetermined to feature just screamed and clean vocals, there are also catchy punk vocals blended with breakdowns which help to give every song meaning. It is almost impossible to pick just one top track off the album because almost every song has been executed with such professionalism.
The album has been very well produced and mixed too. The instruments are well balanced, although I would like to have heard more complexity to the guitars. That being said, the producer of this album should be proud of their effort.
"Diamond" is a major success for Stick To Your Guns. This album features everything that metal fans love and will surely be a hard-to-beat highlight of the band's career.
Tracks To Listen To:
"Beyond The Sun"
"Built Upon The Sand"
"We Still Believe"
"D (I AM) OND"