Released: 2011, Earache Records
Since forming in 2004, American thrashers Diamond Plate have taken a decidedly old-school approach to their career, releasing 2 EPs (2008, 2009) to crack open the door before smashing it to bits with their debut album. The old-school approach is fitting for these guys as their music is old-school in the extreme. Do you like ‘80s-styled thrash? Man, then have Diamond Plate got an album for you.
Skip over the pointless intro and proceed directly to the title track; a furious beast of a song that would fit perfectly onto any classic Testament, Toxik, or Overkill album. If that doesn’t do it for you, the band has nine more thrash attacks for ya. OK, so we’ve established that Diamond Plate are firmly in the thrash camp, but are they any good? Well, that depends, do you consider razor sharp production, stop-on-a-dime musical precision, and eminently memorable riffs essential for a good thrash album? If so, then HELL YES they’re good. Yeah yeah yeah, they are playing from a well-established template, but unlike many of their revivalist brethren, Diamond Plate both the song-writing talent and just enough original spice to make themselves worthwhile.
If there’s one problem with the album, it’s the occasionally grating vocals of Jon Macak. He has a one-dimensional shout that sometimes detracts from the fantastic music. He’s certainly not bad enough to make you want to stop listening, but a more versatile vocalist might help.
Although this is my first encounter with Diamond Plate, the people that have heard their EPs have been trumpeting their cause for a while now. One listen to this album is proof that the hype is justified. GENERATION WHY? is the thrash metal album of the year.