Review: “Self Titled” by Diamond Construct

Taree is a town on the Mid North Coast, New South Wales, Australia. About 200 miles from Sidney it was settled in 1831 by William Wynter and from the 2016 census has grown to a population of around 26000. That population include Diamond Construct, a Tech-Metal infused Metalcore quartet comprising vocalist Kynan Groundwater, guitarist Braden Groundwater, drummer Adam Kilpatrick and bassist Alex Ford signed to Greyscale Records. Following on from 2016’s “Event Horizon” which featured guest appearances from Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon and Morgan Dodson of Stories fame, the band are back with their highly anticipated self titled sophomore release.

Coming out of the gate swinging “Animus” is the punch in the face of an opening tune that grabs your attention from the very start. Menacing Gloom groove guitars with a eerie off kilter background layer bring home the kind of sounds that have an Emmure influence while lyrically having that Nu-Metal overtone. Kicking and punching while being dragged out by security “Dreamcatcher” follows up with a dark spoken word almost rap backed by some guitar scratch work before bouncing up into the full on onslaught. The opposing vocal elements give a sense of schizophrenia and the guitars lead straight into “Paradox” as if it was the same track. The pair end up sharing a very similar riff with a click-y bouncy but far faster version in the later. A couple of melodic parts with clean vocals add a calmness to the track before building back up to the full force of aggression. There is a coral quality to the background ambience during these parts that creates as the track title suggests a paradox. Released as a music video just over 6 months ago “Submerged” is a picks up the energy with a DJent groove and some vicious unclean vocals from Kynan Groundwater. It’s Nu-Metal introspective lyrics tear apart and analyse a relationship with raw emotional integrity obvious in that vocal delivery. Some huge drops bring the likes of Glass Cloud to mind while coming from the same scene that has spawned a number of bands playing this Gloom-esq sub-genre of Metal.

Burying the initial track under an ambient synth part gives a breather for the first 20 odd seconds before “Night Terrors” rears it’s ugly head. Adding a melodic clean vocal element backed by suitably melodic music before bringing back the heavy gives the tune more bite than bark in places. It’s a fine balance which the band strike well, showcasing some fine musicianship and when that “Blegh!” hits in the final breakdown, it’s mosh pit time! Kynan Groundwater screams “a life for a life” in “Say It to My Face” which deals with bullies and naysayers in a pile-driver of a tune that begs to be heard. Alex Ford’s bassline is amazing and undercuts the bounce of the Tech-Metal guitar work giving a fine rounded quality to the sound. Kudos to the mixing and mastering team because they’ve done a fine job. The melodic “Morphine Eyes” has a bit of a Bring Me The Horizon about it with ambient synths heavily involved but fortunately the drum sound is big in the mix and not of the programmed variety. There is a nice rise and fall quality with the guitars and bass but there is no big break out ending that it begs for, instead keeping within the ambience like it’s the thermocline at the bottom of the Mariana Trench that conceals the Megalodon in Jason Statham’s The Meg. Introducing an almost industrial styling to some of the guitar work “Hypno” and an aching clean spoken word alteration, it’s a tune that hammers hard and hints at the kind of work that Dealer, Alpha Wolf and The Gloom In The Corner are putting in. The programmed underpinning adds an extra depth to the cut that makes it a stand out with a complete sonic juxtaposition to the previous track.

Bringing back the Technical-Metalcore guitar work, “Hailstorm” pitches and rolls like a fighter jet screaming across the sky. As with the other tracks is full of pick squeals and tapping elements but with the clean vocal elements in this one it has more in common with some of the more melodic work of Polaris. Those melodic elements help build a melancholic atmospheric that the heavier tones simply crush into dust. As the title suggests “Wildfire” if a raging fire of a tune that moves things forward at pace. Cutting out the melodic parts and instead breakdowns piled on breakdowns with a couple of huge drops it manages to fuse the circle pit riffage with a chant-able fist pumping unclean chorus. There is a spoken word element within the cut which takes an interesting turn as Kynan Groundwater manages to harness his inner Jonathan Davis. That feat is something that is repeated in the shortest cut on the album “Attitude” which as with the pairing of a couple of the earlier tunes could simply be an extension of previous cut “Wildfire” rather than an entirely separate cut. Offering an insight into Kynan Groundwater’s mental health it stumbles around in the blackness but still hits hard. Managing to capture the Gloom Metal sub-genre sound in a track of the same name “Gloom” rages like the finest Lotus Eater cut despite having a clean vocal bridge over fading music that then pushes back real quick. That schizophrenic quality is caught within the vocals with the uncleans being underpinned by the cleans adding another dimension entirely before bringing things to a close. Look out for the end of the year bunch of 5 awards between Christmas and New Year because if this album isn’t on that list, then there is something seriously impressive and almost God sized lurking in the waters. This has everything you could want from a Modern Metal album and a warehouse full of kitchen sinks [9/10]

Track listing

  1. “Animus”
  2. “Dreamcatcher”
  3. “Paradox”
  4. “Submerged”
  5. “Night Terrors”
  6. “Say It to My Face”
  7. “Morphine Eyes”
  8. “Hypno”
  9. “Hailstorm”
  10. “Wildfire”
  11. “Attitude”
  12. “Gloom”

“Self Titled” by Diamond Construct is out now via Greyscale Records

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