"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Diamond Plate - "Generation Why?" (CD)

Diamond Plate - "Generation Why?" CD cover image

"Generation Why?" track listing:

1. Entertainment Today (1:33)
2. Generation Why? (5:00)
3. Pull the Trigger (5:30)
4. Tomb With a View (4:56)
5. Fool's Paradise (4:08)
6. Relativity (6:30)
7. Waste of Life (4:35)
8. Casualty of War (5:09)
9. More Than Words (3:15)
10. At the Mountains of Madness (4:26)
11. Empire Tomorrow (8:42)

Reviewed by on August 26, 2011

"'Generation Why?' does nothing to differentiate itself from countless other thrash metal albums."

After loving the “Relativity” EP, it's become difficult to fathom how far Diamond Plate could fall over the course of a year. While some of the EP tracks were reused on “Generation Why?,” this isn't the full-length that I was waiting for. If anything, it's a step back into standard retro-thrash mediocrity.

The good news is that three of the tracks from “Relativity” were reused, which makes them the most well-developed songs on “Generation Why?”. Yet, they're still better on “Relativity” due to the horrible production on this album. The drums sound flat, the vocals are weak and the guitar both dry and sterile. While the bass sounds fine, that's still the end of an inning to compensate for one home run. While Diamond Plate certainly has chops, there is no way to sugarcoat the fact that their album sounds horrible, despite being produced by Neil Kernon. A band's EP shouldn't sound better than a full length with label backing, nor should an album sound like this in 2011.

As bad as the production is, the actual music has become far more generic than it used to be in the band's underground days. As much as I hate to be one of those guys who hates a band as soon as it becomes popular, most of the new material written for “Generation Why?” is often generic thrash that lacks the identity that other new thrash albums have. The exceptions are the title track and “Waste of Life,” which manage to have a much higher level of quality than the generic thrash metal that appears in the album's first half. After listening to “Generation Why?” on repeat twelve times in a row, and finding that the music didn't sink in, it becomes obvious that this isn’t the album that I was expecting. It was made by a young band who couldn't take the pressure of recording over a short period of time and losing, rather than gaining, a sense of identity as a band.

On the plus side, Konran Kupiec is still a genuinely good guitar player and based on what he's written in the past, I expect great things from him and his band in the future. Diamond Plate is a band that offers a lot of promise for the future, but much like Trivium during their first four albums, they really need to work on songwriting, as well as developing a signature sound of their own. At it stands, “Generation Why?” does nothing to differentiate itself from countless other thrash metal albums.

Highs: Konrad Kupiec has the potential to be the next big guitarist

Lows: New material is just generic thrash, horrible production

Bottom line: “Generation Why?” is a disappointing debut from Diamond Plate.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)