Featured band for the month of August 04’ was DIADEM, and look at this, they are from California... what? California? (Get a Rope!) Well now, hold yer’ horses... I absolutely had to check these guys out, I mean c’mon, a band from California worthy of “Band of the month” on the “The Metal Observer”? All we have here are crappy scream-o and Punk bands, oh and Indie/Hardcore bands...(Lame). Well, not anymore!
So who are these guys? Well, as a matter of fact, the record itself is one guy, Anthony Prechtl. Up until just recently it was a solo project, but now they are nearly complete with a bassist, drummer and a temporary guitarist. And how do I know this? Their more than helpful webpage of course!
Upon visiting the site, I came across two mp3’s: “Theory Of A Lost One” and “The Walls Of Asgard”. Both songs were obviously influenced by Viking/Melodic Death with some FEAR FACTORY-ish background keyboard choruses (very nice) and even a little bit of Black Metal thrown in for some flavour (vocals)...needless to say, I was floored, and that hardly ever happens. I immediately purchased their album “Crimson Sunset”. I included a little note with my purchase claiming that I loved what I heard and was more than excited to hear the full album. I was (almost immediately) written back by Anthony, and we have written back and forth to each other now a few times... and from what I gather he’s a totally great guy.
Now, my whole take on albums, music and bands is kind of like my take on restaurants. You will always have your favourite restaurants along with your favourite dish. But sometimes you need to venture out and try something new...new tastes, new places, etc.
So let’s say you hear about this new place, you’ve heard that it’s pretty good so you decide to try it. And even as a bonus, you are greeted by the chef, which is pretty rare but always makes for a more enjoyable dining experience. “Hey there, howzit goin?” “So, what’ll ya be having tonight?” you reply by telling him you’re having the Filet mignon. Now Filet mignon is one of your favourite dishes, so if it’s good here then they’ve got you.
There are several ways this can go...First scenario, the chef is just a totally arrogant %$@#* and says to you “Oh yeah, the Filet Mignon huh, well I cook the best Filet Mignon you’ll ever have, and if you don’t like it then there’s something wrong with you and your taste buds, because I’m the best pal”. Well with a claim like that, of course you’re going to be extra critical, right? Needless to say, the steak is good, in fact it’s really good, but it’s not the absolute best you’ve ever had, and since the chef was such a jerk, the meal just wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. Hence, they’ve lost you as a customer.
Now let’s say, in a different scenario, the chef brings you the exact piece of meat. This time though, he says “here you go sir, I just wanted to thank you again for choosing my restaurant and I hope you enjoy your meal”. The wording is similar, however the arrogance isn’t there. That is exactly what I’m talking about here, arrogance.
Very few people can really afford to be arrogant in this life, but for some reason it just flourishes here (in California), especially with musicians and even more so with guitarists for some reason. Here in California, there is so much of that going on, some guy makes a demo and you tell him you liked it just to be nice and he’s like “yeah, I know because I made it and I’m a bad ass and blah, blah, blah.” I get so sick of that! If you can afford to be arrogant, then more power to you, chances are your still an a**hole, but more power to you. But it was that lack of arrogance that made me want to listen to this album even more, and especially without bias.
The definition between confidence and arrogance are too often confused, and I totally believe that without confidence, Mr. Prechtl could in no way achieve (cook up) what he did here, as this was a totally self produced, self recorded album. All of the instruments, every one of them, were played solely by Anthony Prechtl. And did I mention that he is only 19 years old? That’s right, 19 years old. And let me tell you, every song on here is nothing short of awesome. My favourites include “Salvation” “Silence Of God” “Theory Of A Lost One” and “On The Inside” however every song is great and the album never drags, my only teeny tiny complaint is that the last track, “Escape” which is basically an outro for the album, sounds so good and it totally feels like it’s going to blow up into an awesome metal opus to close the album but it doesn’t deliver...oh well, maybe that will be one of the many musical treats to look forward to on the next album. Besides, everything else on “Crimson Sunset” certainly does deliver.
Now, to all of you production buffs, calm yourselves, you need not worry... the production is fine, you’re ears will not bleed a single drop. Especially considering the fact that this was a self production, I was very impressed. All to often have I received a demo, or even sadly a full length from some guy who claims his band is awesome, and they saved up for a full year and a half to afford the studio time for the masterpiece I am about to listen to, only to put it in the player and unleash this horrible relentless plague upon my poor, suffering ears (usually half due to awful production, the other half just being bad song writing). Anthony’s school studies (music production) and just plain natural know-how shine through like a “Crimson Sunset“ on this record, not to mention an uncanny knack for writing catchy riffs and followable phrases.
Yes sir, this here is 100% American, homemade Metal music at its best. The heart and soul of Anthony Prechtl pours out of the speakers like a band of pissed off Viking Warriors charging at full force, more than eager to send you to Valhalla. So put down that battle axe for just a sec, and get over to the DIADEM website and pick up a copy of “Crimson Sunset“ today! it’s only $10.00, so that means you won’t have to loot, pillage or plunder your Mom’s purse to get it either... ComeOnAyeeaaaHahhhh!!! \m/ (Online October 12, 2004)