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Four Stroke Baron - Data Diamond review




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Band: Four Stroke Baron
Album: Data Diamond
Style: Djent, Progressive metal, Alternative rock
Release date: May 2024


01. On Mute
02. Monday
03. The Witch
04. Cyborg Pt. 3 (Because I’m God)
05. VALLTT
06. Open The World
07. People In My Image
08. 1000 Threads
09. Data Diamond

Back in the 90s, "scientists" created the worst song in the world deliberately. In 2024, Four Stroke Baron attempt to do the same for metal.

I admit that my first draft of this review was gonna be a lot more negative than it ended up being, because on first listen I literally had nothing positive to say about it other than how out of the box it was. Well, two things happened in the meantime. On one hand, it kinda struck me that all this effort might be deliberate, leading to me coming up with the review teaser. Might. And the second thing is that I tried to distance myself a bit from how much I hated my first listen of Data Diamond and instead went to try and dig back into Four Stroke Baron's back catalog to try and make more sense of the mess. Having skimmed through the previous album did help to recontextualize what exactly is going on with this latest album.

I know I'm not doing a very good job of convincing you, dear reader, that this album is worth your time. Well, not only am I allowed to review music negatively, but there's also a slight chance (a very small one) that someone out there actually connects to this (the YouTube comments are all positive so far, so there's gotta be someone). So I do have to warn you beforehand. This is avant-garde. This is djent. This contains an ungodly amount of vocal processing. The first two in itself are not that bad per se, but it's the latter one that really ruins the album experience for me, and also the one that made the most sense in the context of the band's previous records. King Radio felt like a djenty prog metal with a huge new wave injection, something in which a lot of vocal processing was employed, and something that did make sense in the context of what the band was going for back then. There's similar vocal processing on Data Diamond. Since then, the band did expand their range of influence, often towards something more avant-garde, with Classics sounding like a mix of Vola, Devin Townsend, and Mr. Bungle.

And that was a sound that worked with those albums, even though not everything that Four Stroke Baron did gelled, it was ambitious enough to create a very interesting sound in a pretty saturated prog field. Ambitious is also a word I'd use for Data Diamond, but with the aforementioned elements working less often than they don't. The djent parts feel more generic, the avant-garde bits often feel like they stand in the way of building any cohesive song structures, and the vocal processing is completely egregious at its worst. I am someone that has heard their fair share of pop and hyperpop and nightcore, even heard great uses of such elements within metal, and I can definitely see the Patton-isms in how the vocal elements are handled, but it just feels way too obnoxious for its own good. There are elements that do work almost frustratingly so, skeletons of songs that resonate well, synth atmospheres that wouldn't go amiss on a Devin Townsend record, a Paul Masvidal of Cynic feature on the album's best song, and that sense of pushing boundaries. That's why it's a bit hard to get a reading on the band's intentions here. They couldn't have been oblivious to how obnoxious some of Data Diamond sounds, but was it made deliberately bad or did the band think they were unto something?

Regardless of the answer to that question, Data Diamond isn't an album I'm looking forward to hearing again. There's just enough of it that does work, and with the knowledge of the band's previous works, I'm not ready to write off the band completely. I'll just pretend this one didn't happen.

Oh, one really good thing about it is having the best way to stream your album:






Written on 08.06.2024 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 57 users
09.06.2024 - 08:14
Roman Doez
Hallucigenia
Incredible intro
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09.06.2024 - 11:50
musclassia
Staff
I tried a brief snippet of this album when it came out and noped out hard on it - was intrigued when I saw you queuing to review it, but this pretty much confirms that my initial response was on the money
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09.06.2024 - 12:41
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
Written by musclassia on 09.06.2024 at 11:50

I tried a brief snippet of this album when it came out and noped out hard on it - was intrigued when I saw you queuing to review it, but this pretty much confirms that my initial response was on the money

It's frustrating knowing there are some bits of it that do work, but then the band just shot themselves in the foot. I do recommend trying out some of their other albums though, because they're way less obnoxious.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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13.06.2024 - 21:26
Both Bears
Their previous albums are GREAT .. never heard anything like FSB and it kicks hard

but yeah, somehow not that impressed with this one .. at first glance

EDIT: it actually starts off really good, just like one remembers, then just becomes weird / boring
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