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Rox Diamond - Let the Music Do the Talkin'

Rox Diamond
Let the Music Do the Talkin'
by Emmalyn Campbell at 09 July 2018, 1:00 PM

ROX DIAMOND is a Heavy Metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA. Formed in 1986, the group enjoyed the booming scene of Sunset Strip Metal and released their self-titled debut in 1991. The band broke up shortly after, but the members continued to keep in touch, eventually releasing sophomore album “Powerdrive” in 2005. Years passed, and ROX DIAMOND was ready for their third release, “Let the Music Do the Talkin’,” in 2018, which contains 12 tracks.

Savannah Blue” opens with fresh guitars and crisp drums, an instant reminder of Sunset Strip music with a good use of keyboards, a nice solo, and lyrics about a beautiful girl. The melodies are fine, but I only wish the harmonies in the chorus were a bit more pronounced. Taking them up a notch in volume or intensity could really help the chorus pop and make the song an unforgettable first track. Next comes title track “Let the Music Do the Talkin’,” a little darker and moodier in tone than the first, with a bouncing bassline and a long, moving guitar interlude that certainly does the talking. And if we’re talking about Metal music from L.A., a ballad is a must. “You Can Never Love Somebody Too Hard” may be slow, but there’s power, stunning melodies, and a particularly great vocal performance by Paul Daniels.

Compared to the other songs so far, “Angeline” doesn’t measure up. The chorus is pretty weak, the verses nothing special. “Just Wanting You,” upbeat and with creative keyboards, gets the sound back on track, and “Yesterday Is Gone,” another power ballad, shows great diversity in songwriting. “The Way I Feel” opens with a chipper combination of guitar and keyboards, the keyboards present in the verses to enhance the melodies, showing that this is a group that understands the marriage between vocals and instruments, no instrument simply thrown in there carelessly. The keyboards are almost eerie and theatrical to open “Two Hearts,” while vocalist Paul Daniels beautifully complements them, the chorus simple but pleasing.

Lonely Without You” is one of the most unique on the album. Of all the songs that remind me of great 80s Metal, this one does more than any other. It’s certainly the heaviest but juxtaposes that heaviness with a driving rhythm in the verses and melodies with subtle lasting power. “Midnight Girl” has that harmony-driven chorus I’ve been waiting for, a little like DEF LEPPARD or WHITE LION, that helps make this short, fast song worthy of replays.

In contrast, “Hold Our Heads Up High” is a slow, thoughtful track mostly reliant on a piano, but it does build nicely with heavy guitars and drums. “Never Say Goodbye” is a pretty underwhelming final track, and I personally think the song right before would have made a better impression, but it doesn’t ruin the album.

This year, I’ve reviewed a ton of 80s-style Rock, Melodic Rock, AOR, Glam Metal, or whatever else you want to call it. The latest from ROX DIAMOND is not the most groundbreaking or original, but it does follow what I call the winning formula: a focus on the classic 80s sound we all enjoy but without the feeling of a washed-up imitation. “Let the Music Do the Talkin'’” is a strong album with many catchy songs, which has the goods to reach fans of all ages and backgrounds.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Savannah Blue
2. Let the Music Do the Talkin’
3. You Can Never Love Somebody Too Hard
4. Angeline
5. Just Wanting You
6. Yesterday Is Gone
7. The Way I Feel
8. Two Hearts
9. Lonely Without You
10. Midnight Girl
11. Hold Our Heads Up High
12. Never Say Goodbye
Lineup:
Paul Daniels – Lead and Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Kevin Achenbach – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Elliot Mayhew – Bass
Mike Hansen – Drums
Record Label: Lions Pride Music
     


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Edited 11 December 2018
 

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