Heavy/stoner metal from Belgium, latest full-length album released in 2011.
Diablo Blvd. is a band introduced to me by the killer blogger Stonerobixxx last year, and I became a fan of them since day one. Hailing from Belgium the frontman of the band is supposed to be a well known local comedian. I don’t know if the guy is successful as a comedian but with a voice like his, he could easily afford to quit his day job! The similarity Alex Agnew with Danzig is obvious and this similarity is, in a way extended, to the rest of the aspects of the music in “Builders of Empires”. The album has a much more bluesy orientation similarly to the early works Glen Danzig. “The Greater God” had it too but here is amplified. For the rest of its part the album moves in the successful track of its predecessor. Powerful production, great songwriting ability, a couple of great hits! This is heavy rock music. The album opens a bit strange “Between Hammer and Holy Cross” but everything is put back in place with Agnew’s first scream. A classic Diablo song already. “Builders of Empires” and “Black Hear Bleed” that follow are my two favorite tracks of the album. Powerful hits. “Saint of Killers” is a nice surprise and the only really slow song of the album. If I have to be really strict I would say that the rest of songs are half a level below the “The Greater God” material. This comment applies only to fans of the band that have really high expectations from it. Another objection is that the southern elements are significantly reduced. I’ll take Robixxx word for granted that these guys can tear the place apart when on live, hoping to find out for myself sometime in the near future.
Despite the pretty successful previous album ‘The Greater God’, this is a band I completely missed. The cover artwork together with the styling of the band logo (and misinterpretation of the name; Diablo Blud – my knowledge of the German language had to wake up), made me presume this was some gothic kind of music. The in the info sheet mentioned influences of Danzig came closer in the direction of what’s on this CD. Especially the vocals have a strong resemblance to Danzig and Misfits. The music is solid metal-like in the line of the also in the info sheet mentioned Black Label Society (slightly more dark and dramatic), but the also listed The Cult and Guns ’N Roses influences cannot really be discovered.
The presented music reminds me more of something like 69 Eyes (which is something you don’t have to be ashamed of) because of a pretty theatrical approach. The songs have a pretty massive production (keep an eye on the volume switch when going from some intro’s to the actual songs), and sound pretty well. Also the diversion between songs is well balanced and the album as a whole has an own identity; this also points out the minor point of criticism; the album does not contain any real highlights.
As requested by a fellow member from the Netherlands!