Released: 2004, Century Media
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
What a difference two years can make! I saw Diecast open for Slayer and Hatebreed in 2002 and I was impressed by them then, but with a new vocalist on board for their latest CD, TEARING DOWN YOUR BLUE SKIES, this Boston-based quintet is ready to take on metalcore giants like Shadows Fall and God Forbid. Paul Stoddard’s vocals open up Diecast to a whole new audience that was previously limited by long-time screamer Colin Schleifer. Stoddard has the necessary chops for a strong roar, but he can also turn out an impressive clean vocal. The rest of the band has been shaky to say the least with NINETEEN guitarists having come and gone since 1997! Diecast’s debut, 2001’s DAY OF RECKONING, was a solid dose of metalcore and introduced the use of clean vocals, but TEARING DOWN YOUR BLUE SKIES builds upon that tenfold. Now on Century Media, Diecast will surely break through to the next level with heaps of promotion, touring support and an amazing new record behind them.
“Fire Damage” opens with a short acoustic section before the fury is unleashed and Stoddard’s bellow resonates alongside the dueling guitars of Kirk Kolatis and Jonathan Kita. A hardcore breakdown builds the momentum for the final onslaught that takes the track home with a double bass attack from Jason Costa. Unlike many hardcore albums, not every song sounds the same (do you hear this Hatebreed?) and the clean vocals do add a refreshing touch to the music saving it from cookie cutter redundancy. Stoddard’s melodic vocals are even more of a presence on “Seize The Day” but at no time does the song seem flaccid because of them. In a smart move to avoid alienating older fans, “Torn From Within” reflects back on the moshpit-worthy material from DAY OF RECKONING with its aggressive vocal delivery (“fist to the face…”) and hardcore breakdown. “Savior” and “These Days” are unbelievably catchy tracks that are ready for the video channels. The clean/harsh vocal trade-offs are akin to Killswitch Engage and are sure to make them concert favorites. Stoddard’s opening scream to “Rise and Oppose” chills the blood and the Slayer-like riffing coupled with Hatebreed pacing here and on “Traitor” is sure to get the pits swirling with long-time fans.
Diecast has brought an unyielding slice of metalcore to the table, but it isn’t going to be met without criticism. The nods to metalcore titans, God Forbid and Killswitch Engage, and hardcore favorites Hatebreed will draw cries of bandwagon jumping and TEARING DOWN YOUR BLUE SKIES is certainly a vision of a band who is still trying to find their sound. Bridging the gap between their old sound and the new one is still narrowing, but with the revolving door of members (hopefully) out of the way, the band should be able to gel as a group and turn out an original and truly incredible album to follow this one. This is a hell of a start, though!
KILLER KUTS: “Fire Damage,” “Seize The Day,” “Savior,” “Rise and Oppose,” “These Days”