The Birthday Massacre
Diamonds


3.7
great

Review

by Trey STAFF
March 20th, 2020 | 52 replies


Release Date: 03/27/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another excellent outing from a band that perfected their sound long ago.

For better or worse, you always know what you’re going to get when The Birthday Massacre releases an album. First and foremost, you’re going to get the sweet, sometimes sinister, vocals of Chibi delivering cute lyrics with a macabre undercurrent. Musically, you can always expect some blend of electro-pop, industrial rock, and occasional gothic undertones. The only real question is how much of each genre the band is going to include – and, honestly, the ratios only vary slightly from album to album. Diamonds doesn’t break from that trend, but it also maintains the high-quality fans have come to expect. So, what kind of The Birthday Massacre experience can fans expect from Diamonds? Over the course of Diamonds, the band leans heavily on their electro-pop influences while simultaneously re-introducing some of the more overt industrial elements missing since Walking with Strangers.

If I had one complaint about Under Your Spell, it was that it was too homogenous and subdued. This made it hard to really focus on the album, as it often blended into the background – Diamonds doesn’t suffer from that problem. The band’s emphasis on electro-pop has made this album much more upbeat, energetic, and catchy than anything on Under Your Spell. This renewed energy also makes it easier to remained focused on the songs as the album progresses. Their emphasis on electro-pop blended with a harsher industrial sound has also helped them to diversify their sound more than what was found on that previous release. There are songs such as opener, “Enter”, that hit the electro-pop right out of the gate, but there are also songs such as the title track that are darker and more subdued, focusing more on atmosphere and less on hooks.

My favorite The Birthday Massacre songs have always been the ones that are dark and heavy such as “Blue”, “Red Stars”, and “Destroyer”, but my other favorite style has been the ultra-poppy songs such as “Oceania”, “Shallow Grave” and “Calling”—Diamonds has a little of both. While not as dark as the songs I mentioned above, “Flashback” definitely holds the distinction as the most industrial-influenced song. It starts with the danceable electro-pop that dominates the album, but the chorus pushes into a more abrasive guitar riff as well layers of undulating synth and electronics. It’s definitely the hardest hitting song on the album. Almost the polar opposite is “The Last Goodbye” which is a straight-up homage to 80s electro-pop, but dragged into the modern era. It features what is easily the album’s most catchy chorus – the type of chorus that’s damn near impossible to get out of your head – as well as lush synths, and an upbeat dance beat providing the rhythmic foundation.

If I had to describe Diamonds for fans, I’d say it features the industrial influences of Violet, the electronic-pop of Under Your Spell, and the excellent songwriting and variety of Pins and Needles, but wrapped in a much more upbeat sound than any of those albums. It’s not the type of album that is going to surprise anyone that has ever enjoyed The Birthday Massacre, but it also shouldn’t disappoint them. Diamonds takes The Birthday Massacre’s blend of electro-pop and industrial rock, and dives head first into the electro-pop side. This makes for an album that is entertaining, riveting, and memorable. They’ve also restored enough of their early abrasive industrial influences to create an enjoyable contrast to the syrupy-sweet pop melodies. In the end, Diamonds is another excellent outing from a band that perfected their sound long ago, and now seem content to simply alter that formula with consistently exceptional results.



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user ratings (18)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 20th 2020


18538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

https://thebirthdaymassacre.bandcamp.com/album/diamonds

The Last Goodbye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG_rDQLJZhw

The Sky Will Turn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLobWcKG8mo

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Diamonds

Gyromania
March 20th 2020


29692 Comments


Always loved these guys and their album art is always on point. Still, nothing has griped me as hard as Violet.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 20th 2020


16172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I really, really enjoyed this album. Their production is always stellar, but I feel like the songwriting steps up here as well and is a bit punchier. "Mirrors" is a definite highlight.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts VI: Locusts

bloc
March 20th 2020


60100 Comments


No doubt this will be at least a 4, as are all of their albums. The little youtube teaser I heard sounded crazy good

Crawl
March 20th 2020


2638 Comments


beneath the birthday massacre?

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2020


18538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

--Always loved these guys and their album art is always on point. Still, nothing has griped me as hard as Violet.--

Violet is my close second, but Pins & Needles is my easy first place.



--I really, really enjoyed this album. Their production is always stellar, but I feel like the songwriting steps up here as well and is a bit punchier.--

The songwriting definitely steps up here compared to Under Your Spell and Hide and Seek, but it's definitely in the same league as the rest of them.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2020


8681 Comments


Great review and curious to check this out, based on the mentioned blend of genres.

Is this band anywhere near or remotely analogous to my personal point of reference, Stabbing Westward?

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2020


18538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Stabbing Westward leans more towards the rock side of industrial rock, including rock styled percussion, and industrial-style aggression. These guys lean towards the electro-pop side of things, have a female vocalist, and only rarely include anything 'aggressive'.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 22nd 2020


52601 Comments


I never 'got' these guys but they always reminded me of something that people who wear invader zim shirts would be into

Digging: SKYGAZE - BLOOM

Jasdevi087
March 22nd 2020


5980 Comments


that's my crowd

Digging: Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Blazing Fires and Helicopters...

Willie
Moderator
March 22nd 2020


18538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

--I never 'got' these guys but they always reminded me of something that people who wear invader zim shirts would be into--

I've never even heard of that brand... sounds like I need to do some shopping (Online, of course. Have to socially distance).

Grimlin
March 22nd 2020


1285 Comments


I've never even heard of that brand

lol

Jasdevi087
March 22nd 2020


5980 Comments


i don't think you need to do aaaaanymore social distancing there king

Willie
Moderator
March 22nd 2020


18538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

So... it's a Nickelodeon cartoon. Ha ha.

TundraL5Z
March 22nd 2020


3829 Comments


beneath the birthday massacre.

BallsToTheWall
March 22nd 2020


49922 Comments


Willie, my man. I’m still
Crushed they had to cancel their tour but this album will be a nice consolation when I hear
It I’m sure.

Digging: Saviour - A Lunar Rose

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 22nd 2020


52601 Comments


I'm gonna try waking with strangers again

Divaman
March 22nd 2020


4894 Comments


Didn't know this was out. I'll definitely check it.

Digging: Kenn Morr - Open Field

Willie
Moderator
March 23rd 2020


18538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

It's not out until next Friday.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2020


18912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Checking the singles now, pretty chill. I like it.

Digging: Old Man Gloom - Seminar IX: Darkness of Being



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