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Diablo Blvd.: Follow the Deadlights

From Belgium comes Diablo Blvd., and the release of their third album Follow the Deadlights sees the band on Nuclear Blast Records in a move that is sure to gain them much more exposure right from the get go. Taking influences from Danzig, The Cult, Black Label Society, and Type O Negative, Diablo Blvd. play a pretty accessible form of gothic hard rock & metal that doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel, but there's no denying that Follow the Deadlights is a fun album with some heavy moments and lots of hooks. For me, when the band locks in and gets into a heavy, almost stoner metal groove, like on "Rise Like Lions", "Son of Cain", or "Get Up 9", things seem to work the best, as the crunchy riffs and thunderous grooves come way out to the forefront and grab the listener immediately. Gothic, almost Brit-pop styled numbers such as "Beyond the Veil", "Come With Me (Battle Call)" and the title track are quite catchy, though might be a tad too 'slick' for some metal fans. For my money, give me the rumbling, adrenaline fueled "Fear is For the Enemy", complete with some heavy riffs, relentless rhythms, and tasty lead guitar work, though I kind of feel at times that the lead vocals of Alex Agnew try to be too cute for this type of material. More often that not he's toiling in a sort of Peter Steele/ Glenn Danzig/Ian Astbury styled sneer, which works, but his attempt at charming pop just sounds out of place here. He's most successful on "Peace Won By War", a heavy rocker that sees him channeling the three singers listed above and mixing in a few gruff passages for good measure.

Part of me really likes what Diablo Blvd. is doing here on Follow the Deadlights, as you certainly have to give them props for trying something a little different. This is by no means your 'run of the mill' gothic or stoner album, as the band have utilized many different styles & genres to come up with something that will make you stop and take notice. That being said, there's still some perplexing stuff here that sounds as if the band are all over the place, and that's going to prove tricky for some listeners. Either way, Follow the Deadlights is certainly worth a spin for anyone looking for something off the beaten path.

Track Listing
01. Beyond The Veil
02. Rise Like Lions
03. Get Up 9
04. Follow The Deadlights
05. Son Of Cain
06. Come With Me (Battle Call)
07. Fear Is For The Enemy
08. Peace Won By War
09. End Of Time
10. Inhuman
11. Saint Of Killers

Added: December 27th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2104
Language: english

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