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.