Review – Diamond Lane: Terrorizer

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Review – Diamond Lane: Terrorizer
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Diamond Lane: Terrorizer
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Self-release
May 10th, 2014
Release length: 40:05
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Diamond Lane formed back in 2011 in Los Angeles, California. In that amount of time, they have yet to sign with a record label, but are still actively issuing new material. 2005 saw the release of their debut album Cut to the Case, followed up in 2011 with World Without Heroes, not to mention two EPs in 2008 and 2013. While you may never have heard of the group’s name before, sports fans more then likely have heard their music on broadcasts from Fox. The company has licensed their music for use in advertisements and promotional placements for the NBA, NFL, and UFC’s coverage. But will 2014’s Terrorizer set the bar higher for the band, or will it end up an overly commercialized flop?

“The Enemy” immediately sets the eighties blend of Glam Rock, Hard Rock and early Heavy Metal fusion quite well in its crisp, stylish audio quality that screams if bands like Warrant and Motley Crue had issued their most pivotal albums today, with an enthusiastic Punkish W.A.S.P. approach to the vocals. There’s some ample gang chants where needed and solid Heavy Metal hooks in the bridges and catchy chorus. It’s hard to deny some of the Southern touches as well, such as the shift in the guitar solo that treads into Iron Maiden territory, as well as the clean chords that make up the song’s introduction.

“Life to Lose” finds some over-the-top enthusiasm in the vocals, though the music overall is a little more tame. The main verses have a little bit of a Punk Rock and Hardcore attitude to it, though the chorus is a rich Hard Rock experience with layered vocal harmonies, as well as some Progressive The Who-esque guitar work at the start and in the bridge before the Heavy Metal grade guitar solo. This leads to one of the more addicting tracks of the release, and that slight restraint is something that does show from time to time and really helps make certain songs far more memorable than their energetic counterparts most of the time.

“Cheating Death” is a prime example. It’s your typical hook filled eighties Rock track that lets the bass guitar shine just a little more. The additional vocal layering sounds great against the slightly deeper tuning and background harmonies in the chorus, leading to a song that immediately puts anything Avenged Sevenfold has done right to shame. Then there’s the anthemic Metallica meets Hard Rock cut “Kiss the Ring” that has just enough intimidation in the dark, cloudy musical performance. The ringing bell in some spots makes for a nice touch as well, though the more technical burst of energy just past the two minute mark feels a bit forced into an otherwise solid performance.

Sadly there are a few cuts that just miss the mark. “Slow Destruction” has a solid chorus musically, though the falsetto reach in the vocals are a bit overkill to the rather empty performance. The simple verses carry a bass rich Alice in Chains dirtiness that doesn’t work with the softer clean singing at all either. “Favorite Kind of Victim” has some considerable complexity to the melodic riffs at the start and in some of the bridges, though the main verses are much simpler with vocals that do go a bit overboard at times. It isn’t a bad song, it just loses control too easily. This is something you can note in many other songs as well, but for the most it’s limited and forgiveable.

If you’re a fan of bands like modern Trivium, Bullet for my Valentine and the aforementioned Avenged Sevenfold but crave a far more cohesive, less whiny experience than those last two can ever possibly offer, Diamond Lane has a treat in store for you. While catering largely to eighties and modern Rock concepts, the group isn’t afraid to show their old fashioned Heavy Metal worship here and there. If Terrorizer is any indication of the band’s live performances, then not only is the album worth checking out, but it stands as enough of a reason to go out of your way to catch Diamond Lane live as well. It’s surprising to see a band of this caliber still unsigned, which is probably their own decision. But if they are looking for a deal, Terrorizer should be enough to attract the attention of many big name labels looking to get a piece of the action.

01. The Enemy – 5:06
02. Favorite Kind of Victim – 4:40
03. Cheating Death – 3:46
04. Slow Destruction – 5:15
05. Life to Lose – 4:12
06. Kiss the Ring – 3:44
07. Hopeless Romantic – 4:33
08. New Model – 4:04
09. Drift – 4:46
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Diamond Lane
Diamond Lane

Digital review copy of this release provided by Diamond Lane via Online Metal Promotions.