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Diablo Blvd - Zero Hour

Diablo Blvd
Zero Hour
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 06 November 2017, 7:30 AM

DIABLO BLVD is a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Belgium who feature a successful comedian Alex Agnew on vocals.  I haven’t heard his stand up but I can tell you straight up he is a solid vocalist with often times versatile vocals, something not often seen in this style.  His vocals on the opening track, “Animal,” are spewed forth in short, accentuated bursts that make him sound somewhat like a robot.  On the chorus, he opens up a bit more with a mid-range voice that wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio.  His chords change yet again to a lower range attack on the second track “Sing From The Gallows.”  Without a doubt, he is the selling point of the band and for good reason.

The rest of the band, although very talented, don’t shine quite as high as their singer but they still bring the rock and roll pretty well.   “Life Amounts To Nothing,” hurtles forward with the simple but effective hammering of drummer Kris Martens.  The album actually gets better the further you go into it; the track “Like Rats,” is held on solid ground by Jan Rammello’ss bass.  The clear production is also bass heavy and the bass shines thru pretty regularly. It isn’t always interesting but it holds down the rhythm and provides a solid backbone. The guitars are by the duo of Beckers and Bekaert but I’m not really hearing anything that couldn’t be played by just one person.  The mid-section of “Like Rats,” has some lead guitar but it isn’t really a solo but instead a brief display of melodic noise.  Much like the songs themselves, I think the band would be a lot better if they let their songwriting breathe a bit more.  Most of the songs follow the typical verse chorus verse style of modern radio rock.  This isn’t a bad thing, per say, as it really works for their sound but the band obviously has some decent chops; they could really be something else if they wondered off the tried and true path a bit.

Not a bad album by any means, but one that is somewhat trapped in its own sound, this is a good record for those looking for no frills hard rock.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Animal
2. Sing From The Gallows
3. Life Amounts To Nothing
4. God In The Machine
5. You Are All You Love
6. The Song Is Over
7. 00:00
8. Like Rats
9. Demonize
10. The Future Will Do What It’s Told
11. Summer Has Gone
Alex Agnew – Vocals
Andries Beckers – Guitar
Jan Rammeloo – Bass
Kris Martens – Drums
Tim Bekaert – Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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