Diablo Blvd – “Follow The Deadlights” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Not a whole lot comes out’ve Belgium. It’s a tiny country in Europe often overlooked if not for its fanatical metal scene. In just three years Diablo Blvd have changed all that with just as many albums! Playing a strong rock / metal groove drawing heavily from the rolling riffs of Black Label Society mixed with Life Of Agony especially in Alex Agnew’s macho soulful vocals that are highly reminiscent of Keith Caputo, Diablo Blvd meld hard rock n metal comfortably together with catchy choruses in an irresistible mix. Adding to this come the dark, twisted grooves of Andries Beckers and Dave Hubrechts in their twin guitars that dextrously incorporate eastern melodies alongside heavy riffola a la Machine Head with hints of Metallica and Helmet on songs like the controversial ‘Behind The Veil’, ‘Rise Like Lions’ and ‘Son Of Cain’. There’s certainly a lot going on in the ten tracks making up this third album, but thanks to the big sound production it’s not complicated, allowing the full power of the music to resonate in your ears while the influences come unpredictably as pleasant surprises in the form of hints rather than blatant plagiarism. Almost a super group made up of veteran musicians from Belgium’s undergound, this is Diablo Blvd’s first international release and in many ways deserved in terms of song writing and well executed musicianship to give them that big break from out’ve the Benelux!