Pumpehusets Byhave, Copenhagen, DEN - 14/8
Written by: PP on 25/02/2011 19:08:38
The first time I stumbled across Århus, Denmark-based Diamond Drive was during the Underground Music Awards sessions two years ago where they stood out as one of the few interesting outfits in a crowded field of decent metal bands hoping to take a stab at the grand prize. Though the grand prize was eventually taken down by Vira, the nomination of Diamond Drive at least elevated the band into some form of recognition within the Danish press, where they strangely enough still lack proper acclaim even as the UK press has taken a strong liking to the band.
Anyway, "Reset-Press-Play" is Diamond Drive's sophomore EP containing just three tracks, an appetizer, if you will, for future material designed to take Denmark by storm in the coming months and years. The band specializes in heavy-hitting, crunchy alternative rock that toys with metal, and if that notion makes you think of nu-metal instantly, you're quite right. There are nuances of the dead genre blended within their approach that's influenced by Deftones as much as it is by Life Of Agony and other similar bands, albeit not enough to warrant a pigeonhole into the genre rather than just calling them an alternative metal band instead. Curiously enough, their vocalist sounds impeccably like The Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato during his clean verses, which of course means that he's very good at his trade, possibly even the absolute strength of Diamond Drive overall.
"Sick Machine", for instance, combines radio-friendly, catchy alternative rock with screamed choruses and powerful guitar showdowns that reach far into the realm of metal, but it's the haunting melancholy of the chorus vocal melody that drives the song home. "Grab The Flame" is probably the most Deftones sounding track on the record, also recalling bands like Taproot and Korea, though Diamond Drive are considerably heavier and more metallic than any of aforementioned units. This is good, as it distinguishes the band and makes them stand out. But at just three tracks, "Rest-Press-Play" makes it difficult to construct a more thorough understanding of whether Diamond Drive are a lasting candidate for alternative metal in Denmark drenched in aggression and melody. For now, I'll go ahead with a solid rating, but with the backthought of expecting a similar level of quality throughout their next release.
Download: Sick Machine
For the fans of: Deftones, Life Of Agony, Taproot
Release date 11.12.2010