Toronto goth rock sextet The Birthday Massacre have returned with their eighth studio album, ‘Diamonds’, which blends faerie-like vocals, fantastical lyrics and mystical synthetics with beats that wouldn’t sound out of place in an alternative night club.
The album reflects the quest that has brought The Birthday Massacre to this point, conjuring the qualities that long-time fans have come to love and breathing new life into them.
The album peaks immediately with the opening track ‘Enter’ and then rides the high all the way to its close. The title-track dips into the darkness with distorted guitars that lean on the heavier side, and this battle between the classic instrumentation and the electronic persists throughout the duration of the album, creating a sense of harmony that reflects the balance between the light and dark. Such themes encumber the record, staying true to the subject matter that has permeated the band’s music for the last two decades.
The album never falters with not a single track acting as filler. ‘Diamonds’ fails to waver as it thunders through its midsection, with the likes of ‘Run’ and ‘Flashback’ seamlessly carrying a conflicting sense of foreboding optimism into the latter tracks.
‘Crush’ slows the pace without breaking the tone of the album, before ‘Mirrors’ amps it right back up again with instrumentation reminiscent of Rammstein. It’s evident that the album constantly draws on elements from various styles that shelter beneath the same musical umbrella, showing a willingness to explore their sound within a realm that the band is comfortable with. The pace is brought down a step once more for the climatic closer, ‘Parallel World’, marking the end to a nine-track journey that, if anything, pleads to be just a little longer.
Some may argue that there could’ve been a greater degree of experimentation to add a deeper dimension to the album, but it can’t be denied that the band manage to maintain the sense of euphoria that their music brings with perfect stamina. It’s clear that The Birthday Massacre are certain of who they are and are comfortable in their sound, and this confidence is reflected by the music.
‘Diamonds’ stands as physical proof that you don’t need to drastically alter with each incarnation in order to evolve.
People’s poet. Music and film blogger. South Park goth kid.