Stick To Your Guns

Diamond

Written by: PP on 07/06/2012 03:00:48

"The Hope Division" was a great album that many consider to be a staple in the melodic hardcore/metalcore genre which has experienced a proper take-off in the last few years with great releases from, among others, The Ghost Inside, Hundredth, and For The Fallen Dreams. It's the key album that helped establish Stick To Your Guns as one of the main bands in the new movement often dubbed as 'srscore' for its intense focus on positive, uplifting messages and colossal atmospherics embedded within crushing hardcore energy and metalcore riffing. Therefore, the follow-up "Diamond" understandably had a wealth of expectations attached to it, which it also delivers on, although only partially.

As an album "Diamond" hasn't changed much in the band's sound since "The Hope Division", except the cleans have become perhaps better and the songwriting a little more inconsistent. Take "Against Them All", for example, which owns an especially juicy, lingering guitar melody that almost completely distances the band from the uninspired tough guy hardcore bands by proving that yes, you can be heavy and hardcore, while still retaining enough melody to keep things accessible and the songs distinguishable from one another. "We Still Believe" is another one of these songs, with plenty of clean yells, perhaps enough to make it the black sheep track for many fans of their more hardcore oriented output, but the fact of the matter is that it's a great song that helps put 'srscore' on the radar for more and more people.

But on the other hand, there are certainly songs here which sound like STYG are on autopilot combining the various approaches by the other bands mentioned in this review into a sound that's dangerously close to becoming generic. Fortunately, this particular branch of hardcore has always been heavily concentrated on the lyrical department, and this is where STYG deliver their strongest sales pitch throughout the record, even on songs that otherwise may seem bland and forgettable.

In the end, "Diamond" is a good album. It's miles ahead of the generic hardcore that I sometimes have to review, yet it seems like it doesn't measure up when compared to The Ghost Inside's "Returners", Hundredth's "Let Go" or even its own predecessor "The Hope Division". But again, I should stress, "Diamond" is a worthy addition to the atmospheric melodic hardcore genre, and one all parties interested in the phenomenon should be checking out.

7

Download: Against Them All, We Still Believe, Diamond
For the fans of: Hundredth, For The Fallen Dreams, The Ghost Inside, Comeback Kid
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.03.2012
Sumerian Records

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