Diamond Plate: Generation Why?

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Diamond Plate: Generation Why?
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Diamond Plate: Generation Why?
Thrash Metal
Earache Records
August 9th, 2011
Release length: 55:28
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Diamond Plate formed back in 2004 and hails from Illinois. The band issued a two EP releases, though they shared a few common songs, and a split which featured their debut independent EP that was released by Stormspell Records back in 2008. For 2011, the band finds themselves signed on the legendary Earache Records for their long overdue full-length recording, Generation Why?. But has this additional time prior to Generation Why? helped the band write some solid Thrash Metal, or does this debut show a band not making the most of their situation?

The album starts things out with the introductory track “Entertainment Today”, which sounds like random audio news clips regarding the uprising in Egypt, but the female news reporters ounds horribly acted, leading one to immediately think the news sample are false, and they probably are. Eventually some Thrash music kicks in, the reporting is done though there’s some television static in them, and it bleeds into the title track “Generation Why?”. Right off the bat you can hear a nice mixture of a more stylish Thrash act such as Lyzanxia with some catchy Thrash riffs that feel a little hostile but have some more hook driven attitude to them similar to Testament. The quality of the audio to these tracks are alright, though the spoken word segments in “Entertainment Today” sound a little less echoed in comparison to the screaming vocals that are used. The music all feels a little in the background as well, though the guitars sound pretty deep and work with the clear and obvious bass presence. The drums sound good as well, though not quite as crisp as they could be. It doesn’t really hurt the audio in any way, the kicks have a nice bassey thud to them, the snares sound pretty thick, but the cymbols feel weak and a bit too distant to really make much of an impact. Despite all this, the music is still pretty good to the first two tracks, and “Generation Why?” has enough catchy hooks throughout it with a breakdown towards the end that does seem to work with the chugging, authoritive sound. Vocally that breakdown does show some flaws with the higher screaming sounding a little more forced then it should be, and having more of a Metalcore sound to it then something that would better suit the overall commanding Thrash performance.

For the most part, Generation Why? seems to stick with a more mid-tempo speed that really only feels a little faster or slower then what they present on “Generation Why?” at other times. “Tomb Without a View” does seem to slow the pace down a little more, but it doesn’t really offer up much musically that’s any different really. Again we are given the higher pitched nasal screaming like the previous tracks, and while it’s a decent performance, there doesn’t really seem to be much range in the vocals outside of some more enthusiastic screaming and a lower shouting of the song’s title during the chorus. Luckily the music has a decent amount of variety to it, despite some of the issues with speed. Sure “Tomb with a View” goes a little slower and “Relativity” does feel a bit faster compared to other tracks, but nothing on here really comes off as being filler material, and many of the tracks are rather enjoyable, especially “Relativity” with it’s pace and the shifting speeds that come into play around the half way point.

Diamond Plate also does a good job of shifting up the more hook driven material with some sections of songs, or even a few whole songs, that take on a more intense approach instead of trying to be catchy, having more of a Slayer kind of attitude behind them. These areas sound great and become a welcome addition throughout the release wherever they are placed, and don’t usually have the random really catchy hook bridges that earlier tracks like “Generation Why?” and “Pull the Trigger” have, amongst others, allowing for a break to the formula to the album, which isn’t the worst sound the band could have stuck with throughout and does remain catchy and solid enough to really justify the consistancy of catchier material throughout. In addition, there’s the instrumental piece “More Than Words”, which is a pretty slow track and just over the three minute mark, one of the shortest tracks on here. It’s great to have a break from the constant screaming vocals that aren’t the most thrilling element of the recording, and it in a way takes on a bit of a Progressive Metal feel, establishing a completely different atmosphere, as well as has a bit of a random Egyptian or middle-eastern in general sound to it, which ties things back up to the start of the album with the news samples on “Entertainment Today”. “At the Mountains of Madness” does make for another real stand out track, just having plenty more punch to it, as well as some speed and commanding authoritive Slayer-esque riffs that really enhance the hostile elements of the band’s sound. But of all the songs this si the one you would hope to sound tight since ti has been on every previous release the band has issued.

Generation Why? is not a bad album, but it definitely could have been better. Musically the album is tight and consistant, but a little too consistant for it’s own good sometimes. While nothing is repetitive, sometimes it just feels like the band could have thrown a little more variety into the music. The vocals definitely need a little more range as well, and when things do shift up in the album it sounds great. The album ends with a good dose of tighter material and unformulaic sounds, even with the additional acoustic instrumental section that is hidden after “Empire Tomorrow”, leaving things on a more somber note. Diamond Plate does a good job for their debut, and they clearly had a grasp on what they were doing. For a casual listen, it makes for a good album, and chances are good you’ll come back to it here and there past the initial few spins, but it’s nothing all that jaw droppingly fantastic. If you’re a Thrash fan who likes screaming in their Metal, it’s worth a shot. Even if you’re not, it’s well worth sampling a few tracks, there’s really nothing that bad about the release that it should be ignored. Generation Why? feels like a good collection of material that was building from the start and finally had a chance to be heard. The band has the ability to create a better album, and Diamond Plate definitely leave you wondering what they will feed us next.

01. Entertainment Today – 1:36
02. Generation Why? – 5:10
03. Pull the Trigger – 5:42
04. Tomb With a View – 5:06
05. Fool’s Paradise – 4:17
06. Relativity – 6:43
07. Waste of Life – 4:44
08. Casualty of War – 5:19
09. More than Words – 3:20
10. At the Mountains of Madness – 4:35
11. Empire Tomorrow – 8:57
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Diamond Plate (Band)
Diamond Plate (Logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Earache Records/strong>.