Diemonds – Never Wanna Die
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Toronto’s resident retro Sunset Strip rockers, Diemonds are back with their third studio effort, Never Wanna Die. Dipped in the hair metal history of the 80s, this Canadian quintet is breathing new life into a genre beaten into submission during the grunge assault of the early 90s. Unlike many other bands attempting to revive this sound, Diemonds do not come off as cliché and trite. The band’s genuine love for old school hard rock resonates throughout Never Wanna Die.
Fronted by charismatic vocalist Priya Panda, Diemonds infuse their riff-driven glam metal with elements of modern hard rock and a slight NWOBHM influence. Guitarists C.C. Diemond and Daniel Dekay build their fretwork machinations over the top of bassist Adam Zlotnik and drummer Aiden Tranquada‘s tight, rhythmic foundation.
Never Wanna Die comes out swinging on the driving title track, with its gang chants, slithery guitar riffs, and a hooky groove. Panda’s edgy vocals fit the feel of the song perfectly with more than a hint of punk ethos. “Hell is Full” is packed with swaying chug and rhythmic swagger, while Zlotnik’s bass brings the rumble on the album’s first single; the fist-in-the-air rocker, “Over It”.
Priya gets playful on “Ain’t That Kinda Girl”, and “Secret” finds the band taking a darker twist. Both tracks sound is if they might have fallen off a Halestorm record, and Panda delivers the latter with breathy fulfillment. “Better Off Dead” is an infectious, finger-in-the-chest, attitude-fueled ass-kicker that never lets up.
The rest of the album follows suit, with catchy verses, and big choruses. They are built for the stage, and fist-in-the-air, crowd sing-alongs. “Forever Untamed” swings back and forth between a sick groove and an an energetic thrashy riff that The Ramones would be proud of. “Wild at Heart” features some of the album’s best fretwork, and “Meet Your Maker” showcases Tranquada’s dynamic stick work. The album closes out the addictive foot-tapping homage to disenfranchised youth, “Save Your Life”.
There is a comforting familiarity to the songs on Never Wanna Die that make them instantly memorable. A good number of the tracks on this record will get stuck in your head days after you have last listened to them. Diemonds have planted an infectious seed with Never Wanna Die that will grow with each listen, and their fan base will grow as well. If you are looking for genre-defining originality you will not find it here, but if you are up for some sexy and hard-partying raunchy metal, Diemonds deliver in spades.