The Strand Diatom
By Marcus Pan
Bubbling up from the depths with a sonar-like opening,
Never Fail begins Diatom by exuding underwater darkness from
every pore. As always, the musical arrangement is dead on and just about
perfect. Dave Strand's singing is as powerful as ever and seems to get deeper
and more dangerous with age. Kimberly Brown's soft and sweet vocals contradict
against Dave's hard edged growls to create music that will hover back and forth
between purgatory and heaven, competitive yet complimentary.
Other members of The Strand include Nilaihah Record's Steve
Laskarides, although The Strand have chosen to have Diatom distributed
by Trash City Entertainment unlike their last release(1). Also here is Jeremy
Reich, Scott Levy and Bryon Anderson for six members in all large for an
industrial electronic outfit. Four keyboards played live and drums one
of the few electronic groups that will actually perform for you when you see
them rather than wind up the DATs.
They follow up the slow and brooding Never Fail with
one of their rip-roaring metallic-laced dirges. You Bet Right opens with
proof that Dave can talk without growling, but for those that prefer the
hard-cut rasp of his normal vocals need only wait barely a half minute. And
only The Strand can make a schoolyard taunt sound cool. Shut Your Face
is a twisted song with a chorus like a pissed off 4th grader (Shut your
fucking face!), but somehow is one of the strongest here. Populated with
strong keyboards of the kind that riff into your head and stay there, catchy
Onslaught is truth in advertisement, being a track
that guts your speakers with hard guitar riffs and siren-like synthesizers.
Every time I hear Dave sing I look at the picture included in the jacket and I
think to myself that the voice and the man just dont match. Im not
quite sure how to explain that part, but its amusing. Haunted has
Dave giving us a Korn-esque yowl that shreds your senses, juxtaposed against
Kimberlys soft lacey lyrics. For more of her track seven, Run or
Escape, provides us with a great look at Kimberlys capabilities as a
vocalist at the onset at least until Dave comes back and tears his teeth
into the track at the chorus. The song breakdown at just over two minutes in is
killer drum n bass.
In the Trench was one of my favorite releases for
that year. I had stated that I was looking forward to more in that review and
the band hasn't let me down at all. Still strong and powerful, not losing any
steam at all as they barrel ahead. It's damn good to see that not everyone
making industrial these days is throwing out anything that comes out of the
speakers when they press a button. Diatom is near perfection, solidly
putting The Strand among the glorious second coming(2) of industrial dance
while most everyone else pales (and hopefully withers and dies) in comparison.
If theres strength in numbers, The Strand surely have the upper hand.
(1) In the Trench,
reviewed in Legends #109.
(2) I had listed four categories of
todays industrial in my review of Blanks
Trash City Film
Post: PO Box 13653, Scottsdale, AZ, 85267, USA
Phone: (602) 953-2728
Click to Buy!