Diamonds Are Forever-Momaentum
Cluj-Napoca, Romania-based Diamonds Are Forever, who were formed in September of 2011 out of the ashes of two other (I would assume local) bands, were first brought to my attention thanks to Mihai Tivadar (guitarist, keyboard player and main songwriter in Dirty Shirt). Thing thing is even before I had the opportunity to contact the group about covering them (as they sounded like a band that would be perfectly suited for inclusion here) the band's guitarist and manager Andrei (Andrew) Aron dropped me a email with this 6-track EP included! Wow, talk about good timing! There must have been some sort of psychic (or is it psychotic?) link going on there as we were most certainly all on the same wave length! Now, besides Andrei the group's Facebook page lists the following participants. We've got two vocalists in the form of Horia and Pityu, an additional guitarist by the name of Mitzoc and the duo of Dunch and Dorin who handle bass and drums respectively. If you're wondering about the two vocalists aspect of Diamonds Are Forever then I'll fill you in you. Yes, this is a form of metalcore. That said, there is much more...scratch that, make that a TON more about this Romanian band then just simple "metalcore". On "Momaentum" (which is actually the group's second EP) this 6-piece band breathes some much needed life into a once great genre that has fallen on hard times. With far too many Killswitch Engage worship bands having muddied the waters it's always refreshing to find a band like Diamonds Are Forever that infuses their sound with bold and exotic flavors! Well, maybe traditional heavy metal, thrash and hardcore elements are not that exotic as far as flavor enhancements are concerned, but a little bit of those three ingredients (as well as some near-death metal vocals) goes a long way on a release like this. True, the EP, which was mixed and mastered by Marius Costache and runs a hair over 30 minutes, does have some of the calling cards associated with metalcore (Drop guitar tunings and yes, there are some breakdowns here) and will likely appeal to metalcore fans first and foremost. But I'd be remiss if I didn't go out of my way to encourage everyday metal fans to give this one a try for the very reason that it adds those other elements in. More then anything it's the guitars (when they are not doing the whole super heavy riffage thing) that make releases like "Momaentum" have universal appeal. The playing on these 6 tracks falls does (on occasion) fall somewhere between early (read: eighties!) heavy metal and heavy thrash (think perhaps a more hardcore version of Slayer) and if it wasn't for the shared vocal aspects of Diamonds Are Forever this EP would probably bypass a lot of preconceived genre labels. Also, as a whole, the group is HEAVY and the EP doesn't offer the listener any relief whatsoever so both of those characteristics help to elevate this release above your run of the mill recordings by normal metalcore bands. In the end I listened to this EP a couple of times and found it to be extreme and entertaining. I freely admit that even I have grown tired of metalcore and other then some of the genre's founders (esp. Killswitch Engage) I do wish at times that a massive cleaning would take place within it's ranks. Still I couldn't help but feel the love for this Romanian act because they bring legit power to the game and they don't try to just follow the leaders. Their music sounds much more organic and original which makes it a bit of a tragedy that they remain unsigned while so many incompetent bands get long-term deals...
For more information on the band and to find out how to pick up the recommended "Momaentum" for yourself here are all the links you need to have: