Diablo Blvd. (or Diablo Boulevard if you prefer) are a Belgian Metal band with comedian for a singer. It’s not that Alex Agnew’s vocals are particularly amusing or his lyrics have your side’s splitting, no, he’s an actual Comedian, a Stand-up one – and quite successful in Belgium by all accounts. But he’s given all that up to front Diablo Blvd. Not sure if he does any witty on-stage banter or has plans to support his own band as a comedian a-la Henry Rollins, but the band’s latest album “Follow The Deadlights” is serious…man.
Musically (and vocally) the band’s style is quite hard to pin down, it’s groovy slightly 90’s feel is interspersed with elements of Dark/Gothic Metal similar to Poisonblack and some Southern Metal along the lines of BLS, COC and Sixty Watt Shaman (or SWS I guess) chucked in for good measure. There’s a bit of Danzig in there too and in any given song the band can swing from The Cult through Fireball Ministry and Spiritual Beggars to Alice In Chains quite effortlessly. Therefore – and as an example – each track can lean towards Corrosion Of Conformity, the aforementioned Poisonblack or even latter-day Metallica’s straight ahead Metal to greater or lesser degrees. It’s also not easy to pinpoint exactly what the band sound like on every song, but as a whole they really remind me of a more varied Brand New Sin…with all the other bands mentioned earlier cropping up just to keep you guessing.
There’s always a good n’ groovy guitar riff gelling the songs together, with an Ian Astbury-tinged vocal hook and all wrapped up in a sharp, edgy production. Look no further than the title track as a great example, but elsewhere there’s always much to keep you interested – whether it’s the slow-moving groovy slither of ‘Inhuman’ or ‘We Are Legion’ right the way through to slightly pacier stompers like ‘Son Of Cain’ or ‘Get Up 9’. Each song has a way of getting under your skin and you can always be assured it will be Metal. Full-on and in-yer-face Metal. With a nice big record deal under their belts it looks like Diablo Blvd. are out to turn some heads…or bang them at the very least.
(7.5/10 Andy Barker)