Diamond Plate, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vale of Pnath say, ‘Hello, consumer’

Diamond Plate

I’m trying to save money for vacation, something I’m pretty terrible at doing. Yet, here I am, as a chance to get away approaches, and I find that I have to pull back on my record-buying just to be certain. I thought I went to school and got a job to make sure I would have money for silly expenses such as these (and, um, for bills and groceries), but alas, I must wait.

But you’re not coming with me, so who’s to say you can’t go spend a little bit of cash? Go nuts! If the state of this country gets any worse, we won’t have a currency system soon, so do it while you can. This isn’t a great day for new releases, but there are some worthy ones you might find interesting. I’ve got three in mind for you in case you can’t wait for next week’s mammoth releases (YOB! Moab! Today’s the Day! Totimoshi!) and need something to tide yourself over another seven days. Not that you should write these off as stop-gap buys, because they’re not that at all. Sometimes you just want to buy, right?

What were you doing in your teenage years? Finishing school? Trying to figure out what field offered you the best chance at future security? If so, are you feeling stupid about that now? I know I am. But for the members of Chicago thrash band Diamond Plate, they’re making music, damn capable stuff at that, and at times it’s easy to lose track of just how young these guys are. I know every time I think of a young band striking out on their own and making records at such a young age, I think of stuff like Black Tide, a group that never really was any good but got a ton of publicity because of their age. Diamond Pate also can play, and while I’ve yet to see them live, the talk is the stage is where they’re most dangerous. Their age is just an oh-by-the-way factoid.

Their first full-length “Generation Why?” is a well-played, meaty, satisfying record that, while certainly not perfect, is worth checking out. They’re also in the right spot with Earache, as the label has been the home to other thrash revivalists such as Municipal Waste, Bonded By Blood, and Evile, so they won’t be steered into the wrong places. This also isn’t the band’s first barbecue, as they already have two EPs and a split contribution to their resume, so they’re quite seasoned for being such young fellows. Guitarists Konrad Kupiec and Mario Cianci certainly don’t come off like wet-behind-the-ears rookies as they can flat out shred, and frontman/bassist Jon Macak sounds as if he could front a gore-minded death metal band just as capably as he does Diamond Plate. One small complaint is his shrieky approach can wear on you after time, and he doesn’t have a ton of emotional diversity to his voice quite yet. But that all can come in time, and they do an impressive enough job on “Pull the Trigger,” “Tomb With a View,” “Casualty of War,” instrumental “More Than Words” and classic Exodus-flavored “At the Mountains of Madness” to help you see their enormous potential.

For more on the band, go here: http://diamondplateband.com/HOME/HOME.html

To buy “Generation Why?” go here: http://earache.com/uswebstore/index.php/cPath/667_669_739

For more on the label, go here: http://www.earache.com

Fleshgod Apocalypse

We’ll move onto Italian symphonic-operatic extreme metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse and their second full-length record “Agony.” Yeah, when I say operatic and symphonic, this isn’t Nightwish or something like that. Sorry if you got that mental image or something. This is the band’s first effort for Nuclear Blast after spending time with Willowtip (they put out the band’s debut “Oracle” and follow-up EP “Mafia”). In fact, if you’re a fan of the band’s first two offerings, you won’t be disappointed with this one either. It’s dramatic, over-the-top, insane, heavy as hell, and a devastating dose of sonic lava that should please fans of techy, terrifying death metal.

I’m not going to go into too much detail here because I have a review assigned to me by Lambgoat, and that’s due pretty soon. Rest assured, I’ll post a link to that review on this site once it’s live, like I do with all my other Lambgoat stuff. I know. You’re relieved. But the record is a strong one, and considering they have a larger label at their disposal, their profile should rise even further. Another thing that should help them out is their current jaunt on the Summer Slaughter Tour alongside bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under, Dying Fetus, Whitechapel and … ugh, Powerglove. The carnival runs through Aug. 21, so you still have a chance to see the band in a live setting to see if they can recreate the insanity of their studio efforts. Remaining tour dates are:

Aug. 10 – Montreal, QC – Olympia

Aug. 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza

Aug. 12 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium

Aug. 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts

Aug. 14 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom

Aug. 16 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade

Aug. 17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution

Aug. 19 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues

Aug. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live

Aug. 21 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues

For more on the band, go here: http://www.fleshgodapocalypse.com/

To buy “Agony,” go here: http://store.nuclearblastusa.com/Search/flesh_god_apocalypse

For more on the label, go here: http://www.nuclearblastusa.com

Vale of Pnath

Speaking of Willowtip, you always can expect the Pittsburgh-based (Zelienople, to be more accurate) label to scrape the underground for new bands you may not be aware of yet but who ultimately have insane chops and ferocious hunger. I’d go out on a limb and say Willowtip’s roster may be the most talented in metal from a musician standpoint. When you hear their bands, you never think they have all bark and no bite, and their latest signing Vale of Pnath is no exception. Their debut record “The Prodigal Empire” arrives today, and if gory, grindy, excellently played death is your style, you might want to give this Denver-based band a shot.

Grabbing their name from Lovecraft lore and leveling their audience with interesting, creative hammering, the band follows up its 2008 self-titled, self-released first EP with a nine-song effort that wastes no time making an impact. Their soupy, loopy guitar tricks, brain-bashing drumming, fluid lead play and growly vocals all prove how capable and dexterous this band is, and people who like to geek out to technique probably will have a ball picking this apart. I really got into black metal-flavored “Borne Extinction,” bludgeoning “Brain Butchers” and “Sightless” (reminded me a lot of really early Darkest Hour) above everything else on this effort. One complaint I have about the record is the songwriting isn’t the most unique, and they could use some time self-reflecting and self-analyzing to find ways to stand out from what’s become a pretty loaded sub-genre. They sure sound like they have the ability to do so, and this debut is a noteworthy piece of work that sounds like a solid first step toward greater things. This band is one I’ll follow into the future with great curiosity to see how they shape-shift on future albums.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.facebook.com/ValeOfPnathCO?sk=info

To buy “The Prodigal Empire,” go here: http://www.willowtip.com/releases/details/vale-of-pnath-the-prodigal-empire.aspx

For more on the label, go here: http://www.willowtip.com/