Diablo BLVD ‘Zero Hour’ – Album Review

        Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Diablo BLVD. play metal with influences from a wide range of acts. Vocally, there’s a huge Ian Astbury (of the Cult) feel, a touch of Glen Danzig, and some Peter Steele. Musically, this is set on heavy guitar grooves, some electronics, and a powerful rhythm section; all coupled with great songwriting. I can hear Danzig influences within the music as well, a bit of U2 here and there, with some Type O Negative, and a dose of Hard Rock for flavor. On September 22nd, 2017, they will release a new album, Zero Hour, and it is one hell of an album. With the first track, “Animal”, I get the feeling that there is a key figure being talked about. I personally envision Donald Trump, not because I hate Trump or anything, but based on the way he’s portrayed in the media and how others feel about him. Especially the last line of the chorus, “if you want to kill the world, just point the gun at yourself”, but that’s just my interpretation of it, yours may be different. “You drop a bomb with every word you say, you fill me with lies and then you walk away, you leave me bleeding in the alley way of my mind, until then my heart is yours to break away. You are all you love, who am I to question you, and not see all the best in you, why can’t I just empathize.”, is the pre-chorus, and chorus to “You Are All You Love”, which makes me think of America’s Angriest Clementine once again. As I make my way through this release I get the impression that it is possibly about the downfall of mankind through politics, or at the very least, the antics of one centralized figure.

        “00 00” begins with a beautiful, minor key, acoustic guitar part, and then some cello over the top of it as it changes. It’s awesome, and reminds me of Led Zeppelin a bit. I love these types of interludes as they add a bit of flair to an album, and showcase another aspect of the band. Immediately following this, is a track titled “Like Rats”, and it seems as if it was placed here to counter the slow song beforehand. The intro is fast picked, and has some cool movement to it, and leads into a sparse verse, but still retains a speedy feeling thanks to the drumming. I love the chorus, “Like Rats, we kill, we consume and die. Like rats we are a plague.” I cannot count the amount of times I’ve compared humans to a plague, but not so eloquently as in this song. Other stand out tracks are, “Sing From The Gallows”, “The Future Will Do What It’s Told”, and “Life Amounts to Nothing”.

        This is an album, the likes of which I find very refreshing. It’s heavy without being fast or seriously down-tuned, the vocals are all understandable, and fit the music perfectly, and there are influences from some great bands. The guitar tones are modern, and there are guitar solos, and well played ones at that. It seems that with some music lately the art of a tasteful guitar solo has been lost. There is also a great use of song structures within Zero Hour. They have written an album that never gets boring. The songs are put together in a way to show the heavy, and the less heavy, side of music; and the lyrics are pointing out aspects of our life that are extremely relevant in this day, and age. I highly suggest that everyone checks out this group. I love what they have done here, I hope you do too!

Tom Hanno

Chimera Magazine