Drawn to groove...
Genre: groove metal
After Pantera revolutionized metal by injecting a lethal dose of Southern groove steroids into their thrash metal style, a plethora of metal bands embraced the groove, and the groove metal scene exploded. Most of these bands were but pale imitations of Pantera, but every now and then a really good groove metal band pops up, such as Machine Head, Invocator, and, more recently, Zero Illusion as well as, of course, Adrenaline Mob.
To this list, we can add Diretone. They're not quite there yet, but their eponymous debut album definitely indicates that they could, if they keep developing their music, take up a deserved seat in the upper echelons of groove metal.
The style on this album is, as mentioned, groove metal with emphasis on groove. The tracks on the album are, despite the occasional outing into more uptempo territory, kept at mid to heavy tempos and dominated by crushingly heavy and extremely groovy riffs, which are executed with impressive precision, just check out the main riffs of tracks like "It Never Ends", "Drawn to Life", "While You Forget", and "Road". The band have deliberately decided to keep the level of technicality reasonable low, although they are very accomplished musicians, in order to focus on groove and (southern) rock 'n' roll spirit and broad accessibility. An important part of groove , I would argue, is precision, and the performance is very tight - the rhythm guitars do not miss a note, and the drums - played by Henrik Glass (known for his work with death-doomsters Saturnus) - run like a clockwork.
So, unlike acts like Invocator and Zero Illusions, this is not a technical album, but still, the guitar solos are quite impressive and successfully combine rock 'n' roll feel with quite advanced and technical solo playing, which should be enough to make any guitar fan drool like a hungry baby.
The vocals sound like a blend of James Hetfield and Jacob Hansen (who, as it happens, actually mixed the album) - well, sometimes it actually sounds exactly like James Hetfield. And this is my only reservation towards Diretone's debut - I think that the vocals sometimes sound too much like James Hetfield and I would have preferred a more original and identifiable style of singing. The Pantera, Metallica, and Machine Head and, to some extent also Megadeth and perhaps Invocator are perhaps quite obvious, but in general that is not a problem since, let's face it, those bands are not the worst bands you can be inspired by.
Diretone debut is definitely a crushing album, and, a true lesson in solid groovy riffage, it is recommended to fans of groove metal acts like Pantera, Machine Head, Invocator, Adrenaline Mob and Zero Illusions.