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Diamond Plate: Pulse

Well, the new Diamond Plate album has hit the inbox, and I decided before I go crash for the night to give a few songs a spin. Right away, I already feel like I’m listening to some kind of Metallica album, and I’m not even half way through the first track, “Walking Backwards,” yet. The harsher shouting vocals are a different take on the early faster sound the band is emulating, and it does give the song a bit of a unique identity. The chorus does forsake the catchy and heavier riffs for a bit more melody and vocal harmonizations, as well as a sudden increase in speed. It’s a troubling sign of things to come, but I was ready to tackle whatever may come next.

“All Of It” does carry that slight Metallica sound “Walking Backwards” had, but at the same time some riffs remind me a bit of Testament. Comparisons aside, it’s another faster paced track that uses harmonization a little more than shouting, and there’s even a brief bass guitar solo that isn’t anything major, but it’s an interested shift that has a decent segway. Some of the latter material does pick up in heaviness, especially the solid guitar solo that sounds like a glorious throwback to the eighties Thrash scene, degrading slightly into a decrepit bridge that is sadly short lived.

“Price You Pay” tries to be a bit darker and ominous, especially in the first minute and fifteen seconds. It succeeds in some aspects, though doesn’t quite have the bite to really impact the listener the way the band probably intended. The harsher Death style vocals compliment the sinister, somewhat technical riffs that are built more for aggression than infection. Additional gang chants help push that raw attitude well, and a few bridges here do find some groove-laced riffs at work that move into another solid guitar solo that only picks up in speed.

“Dance With Reality” surprised me almost instantly. The less than three minute track throws things into a sudden Crossover Thrash style that is a bit conflicting with the songs prior, but it’s an interesting spin none the less. The harsher vocals sound a bit sickening, capturing an eighties gritty, almost MTV-esque quality, the kind early Headbangers Ball would air. The bass once again really stands out through much of the song, and the closing solo goes on for a while but never gets boring. As far as atmosphere goes on this release, this is the most impressive of them all.

In the end, the first few tracks were a varied mixed bag of vintage Thrash Metal. While I wasn’t too impressed for the most part, I’m glad I threw them on for a casual quick spin. Pulse is shaping up to be something I’ll definitely need to give more time, but overall it seems to be an alright album that speaks to many generations of fans to the style, feeding off already successful staples and making them their own.

Diamond Plate (band)
Diamond Plate

Digital review material for this article provided by Century Media Records.