Sound: Within the past 10 years, the metal scene in America has turned into a scene. Bands that fit into the moniker "metalcore" or "hardcore" have clogged the path for the true bands to emerge. However, within the latter years of the "core" generation, riff-oriented bands like Lamb Of God, Trivium, and even darker bands like The Black Dahlia Murder seem to have entered their way into the metal limelight. More riffs are pouring out, and "core" bands like The Devil Wears Prada and Whitechapel have turned to writing riffs with their songs. The guitar has slowly become popular again.
Thrash metal seems to be a common taste within the bands. Pure thrash metal has been very scarce, with bands like Machine Head and veterans Slayer, Anthrax, and Testament carrying the flag. Of the new emerging wave of thrash bands, Illinois band Diamond Plate seems to be the quickest to rise. Having just completed a trek with Anthrax in the UK, Diamond Plate proves to be one the the roughest groups on the scene. With their most recent release, the boys in Diamond Plate (the oldest member is 20) show our generation how to bang heads.
"Generation Why?" displays some of the most intricate riffs that are usually heard by the riffmasters in the classic thrash bands you either grew up with or grew up listening to on your dad's stereo. Every song on the album has a memorable riff and will never stray into simplicity. The barked lyrics from vocalist Jon Macak hit you square in the gut. Nothing feels better than listening to a man yell angry lyrics to you while being attacked by a barrage of guitars and drums going faster than the speed of sound.
From the insane drumming of "At The Mountains Of Madness" by drummer James Nicademus to the blistering solo in "Relativity" delivered from lead guitarist Konrad Kupiec, the band has it all when it comes to sound. You will never starve on the savory riffs that "Generation Why?" gives you.
They've showcased songs such as "Waste Of Life", "Pull The Trigger", and the classic title track for years through their independent "Relativity" EP and "Mountains Of Madness" EP. Earache now presents their major label debut through "Generation Why?", and it hits home with the metal fans that have been looking for a savior to pick up the guitar and write true metal. // 9
Lyrics: "Take the fear, make it real
Tell them what they all should feel
Oblivious to what is true,
what you don't know will hurt you
Influence in the wrong hands,
model a puppet call it a fan
Lead the way, the world will follow
Lyrically, Diamond Plate aims to get the point across that our generation sucks. Whether the people make stupid and pointless decisions or the politicians of our generation are desiring to have control over us (as presented in the lyrics above), the thrashers get the point across that America is in a dump, and we need to kick it into gear. I really like when bands rhyme in their songs, whether they're screaming or not. It makes the lyricist have a challenge to be creative within boundaries, and I think they did that very well.
I think Jon Macak (vocalist) is good for what he does. His voice fits very well in the band. The only thing I wish they could try or experiment with is pitch differentiability. He seems to stay on the same pitch the whole time. No lows or highs; just monotoned. Although the lyrics seem focused enough, my only problem was the lack of attention that the vocals seem to have received. // 7
Overall Impression: This album can definitely stand up to any metal album released in this day and age. As long as Diamond Plate keeps on writing riffs like in "Generation Why?", then they will live a very successful life. I can see the album being looked back to and being stated as a contributing album to the revival of metal. With the exception of the vocals, everything is focused on this album. The solos are there, and the drums are tight as ever.
I love the fact that I experienced this band live before they took off as big as they have. Our local venue set us up to open for them, and they blew my mind with their live energy and flawless talent. Songs I recommend strongly are "At The Mountains Of Madness", "Relativity", "Waste Of Life", and the title track. Don't let that stop you from checking out the whole album, though; it's all great. I would hate to lose this CD. I would buy it again, of course. // 8