posted on 8/2005 By:
Now this is more like it. To my eternal frustration (and to many of yours as well, I suspect), hardcore has spent the last ten years or so retracting its primal roots in favor of slowly becoming another of heavy metal’s myriad subordinate genres. It’s a goddamn shame, too; watching an entire musical style and subculture splintering and assimilating into others is not pleasant for anyone who appreciates musical diversity, and let’s not kid ourselves, the last thing the world needs is another metal subgenre. Bands like Los Diablos, accordingly, are a breath of fresh air for old-school hardcore aficionados like yours truly. Neither innovative nor spectacularly skilled, their charm is found in unswerving dedication to their craft and a stiff refusal to bow to modern influences.
And the music isn’t too bad either, so long as you can get past the humor of an Australian band imitating the Swedish take on an American style. Los Diablos purvey crusty, punked-out ‘core a la Skitsystem or Wolfpack, and the music is predictably muscular and unrelenting. Like their heroes, Los Diablos aren’t trying to impress with songwriting or (god forbid) technicality; they simply barrel forth with the impetus of attitude and energy alone. For the most part it’s an effective strategy, and the furious power-chord riffing and hurtling rhythm section regularly connect with a satisfying thump. The songs certainly don’t bear much musical dissection, and even nine-minute closer “Deliverance Into the Flame” just comes across as a really long crustcore track, albeit with a brief ambient break about halfway through. It’s here that Los Diablos encounter a bit of a problem. Without the riff-penning knack of Disfear or Tragedy, Viva Hate’s visceral drive tends to flatten during extended listening, and there’s really only so much throaty roaring and downtuned chordage one can take before it all starts to sound the same. Needless to say, effect is almost surely deliberate. After all, given the choice between nonstop black-leather ranting and something that smacks of either intellectualism or emotions more sensitive than anger, Los Diablos are clearly way too punk to opt for any but the first.
It’s noteworthy here that this band is metal-relevant only in terms of sheer intensity; Los Diablos are pure hardcore punk when it comes to songwriting and aesthetic. As such, they will only appeal to the metalhead who has a preexisting enjoyment of this particular style. Fortunately, appreciation of this sort of burly crustcore has been on the rise as of late, particularly with the (relative) commercial success of bands like Cursed. While Los Diablos aren’t likely to displace the leaders of their niche in aggressive music, I’d be willing to wager that they’re perfectly content to continue delivering scummy musical sucker punches by the hundredweight. Snag this one if you're in the mood for a shot of primeval, patches'n'spikes energy
Register to post comments.