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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Diecast

Day of Reckoning

Review by Arnold Hablewitz

As a whole this disc takes what is so good about the recent New England thrash/death/hardcore scene (Shadows Fall, God Forbid, etc.) and kicks up the heaviness factor by ten, with double-bass reminiscent of Slipknot and hardcore groove and lyrics reminiscent of Hatebreed, Buried Alive, Earth Crisis, and (insert Victory Records band here).

The production is excellent, but it's a little too gruff in this mix and a little too polished in the mastering to hold your attention for too long. Someone like Andy Wallace, Andy Sneap, or even Ross Robinson (dare I mention his name) might have done a better job. Let's hope the royalty checks pour in so they can afford someone like that next time around.

All in all I'd recommend this to all fans of hardcore, neo-metal, and even some nu-metal, but I would suggest that they take it for what it is and not try to overanalyze it, or they will lose interest far too quickly.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro
One can't really discern what this is. For the most part, it almost sounds like someone digging (a grave?..oooo, scary!).
Disrepair
After that brief intro, the album gets off to a bludgeoning start with this hard-edged tune, complete with a quick-off-the-mark double-bass riff and scream reminiscent of Hatebreed's Jamey Justa. Take the finer SYHC moments of the aforementioned Hatebreed (including the deep gang vocals) and mix it with the dual vocal thrash/death/core stylings of Shadows Fall.
In The Shadows
I love this song just for that kick-butt groove in the middle and the ending where Colin screams "How Could you Ruin My Life!!!" over and over again.
Singled Out
If this band has any chance of having a radio single, much less a hit, it's this tune. Still unrelentingly heavy, it boasts a somewhat catchy clean chorus, a rarity for such a group as Diecast.
Plague
With an unconventionally written verse riff that might lose some of the non-musicians, this tune gets off to a loopy start. The rest of it though is kinda lackluster, (still heavy, but lackluster), making it one of the few "filler songs" on here.
Exacting My Revenge
With a brutal old school thrash riff for the intro, this song is one of my favs. From the opening this tune goes through purely heavy dissonance in the following riffs, but keeping enough heaviness and melody to keep the listener's attention.
Remember the Fallen
The acoustic intro knocks you off your rocker for a brief moment, but then a little underlying distortion and sampling comes through, followed by some seriously melodic and emotive singing. Following this, the guitars break in with a simple-yet-effective little riff. I really dig how these riffs are quite dissonant and structured, yet still somehow melodic.
Desensitized
Beginning with a riff straight out of the God Forbid/Shadows Fall songwriting book, this gives you the false impression of the old school. But further listening gives way to a more straightforward hardcore tune, with the sole exception of the recurring opening riff.
Invent the Truth
Heavy double-bass and speed over a slowly Earth Crisis-esque riff opens, but then the thrash element kicks in. Remember a NYHC/metal band called Merauder? This song is a shoe-in for that band, so thrashy, yet so groove-laden.
Solace
The Earth Crisis vibe sticks to this song as well. A sort of atmosphere of "Calm before the Storm" is present in the opening, and it doesn't fail to disappoint.
Day of Reckoning
To be honest, by this point in the disc you see that while they took a lot of time in creating these songs, their differences are major-yet-not outright, so this outro kinda bores the listener. Were the ending a little better, I'd be a whole lot happier with this disc as a whole.
 
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