Review Summary: One step forward, two steps back.
Stick To Your Guns is a band I've only recently discovered. I only started listening to them a few months after The Hope Division released. The Hope Division was a great album, and after listening to their earlier material I've noticed that Stick To Your Guns is one of the better bands in the hardcore scene today. Diamond is their follow up to The Hope division, and sadly is the sound of a band stuck in a rut.
The album opens up with "Diamond". The song is half a build up. This serves as a good way to open the album, showing off what Stick To Your Guns is capable of in the lyrical department. "Against Them All" was the second single released from the album. I know I'm almost entirely alone when I say this, but I absolutely love this song. The riff is one of the best on the album, and the clean chorus is the best on the album. This song is a great way to follow "Diamond" because whereas "Diamond" showed off the bands heavier side, this shows off the more melodic side. "Such Pain" is where the album starts going downhill. The intro guitar reminds me of "Some Kind Of Hope" from The Hope Division. The one thing this song shows me though is a lack of creativity. The song is exactly what you'd expect, and that's not a good thing in this case. "The Bond" continues the boring trend and shows off as a song full of chugging. Again, this song is just plain boring. Despite the song being two and a half minutes it feels like it's over in 30 seconds. The following song "Ring Loud (Last Hope)" is a change in pace, but not for the better. The choir in this song feels so un-wanted and cheesy. I can understand what they're trying to do, but in this case it just doesn't work.
Kicking off the second half of the album is "Empty Hands". Again I feel bored by the lack of creativity Stick To Your Guns has shown off so far. I feel like these songs all have potential, but that's wasted by what seems like a lack of interest. "Beyond The Sun" is the longest song on the album, which serves as a mixed bag. On one hand the hardcore parts are fantastic, but on the other the clean vocals seem like no effort was put into them. The first single released from the album was "Bring You Down". When I heard this song I thought it was a poor choice for first single. Despite starting off fantastic with a great build up and a catchy riff, the song loses steam once the clean chorus comes in. The "Wooh-Oh's" seem like it took them merely a few seconds to think of. That's what I mean when I say I wish more effort was put into this. "D(I AM)MOND", despite having an absolutely ridiculous title (How do I say that"..) is the most heartfelt song on the album. Not any more than 2 minutes, this songs lyrics remind me of something off of The Hope Division. It serves as a realization to all we are and all we were. This song is fantastic. The final song on the album is "Built Upon Sand". When I hear this song I wonder, 'Why isn't every song as good as this"'. This could honestly fit right in with anything on The Hope Division. It's fast, fun, and hard-hitting. It's a great way to close a mediocre album.
Overall, Stick To Your Guns shows promise with their 4th album, but the mediocre outweighs it most of the time. I had high hopes for this album, and I feel a bit let down in a way. Maybe it's just that The Hope Division was so good, but this sounds like something I've heard too many times before.