REVIEW: Issues – Black Diamonds


Artist: Issues
Album: Black Diamonds
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Rise/Velocity Records

Issues have a very, very short history so far. Tyler Carter and other ex-Woe, Is Me members formed Issues this past summer, was signed by Rise/Velocity Records shortly thereafter, and already started scheduling tour dates before they put out a single song. Given the caliber of the members in the band it’s not surprising that they were picked up so quickly by a label they’ve had history with already.

The EP starts off with heavy electronic beats and bass. While it’s certainly not the worst intro I have ever heard on an album it certainly seems out of place since the rest of the album doesn’t offer that heavy electronic punch. There’s definitely electronic elements throughout the tracks, just not on that same level.

The first single released from Black Diamonds was “King Of Amarillo,” and if anyone knows anything about Woe, Is Me then you will know that the song was undoubtedly about them. While I think the feud between the two bands is silly, “King Of Amarillo” is easily my favorite song on Diamonds because it’s passionate and full of life. I feel like it’s the most raw song on the EP, and I would love to see more of that edge in future releases.

The next notable track would definitely be “The Worst Of Them”. Tyler shows off a little bit of his vocal abilities, it’s catchy and has a memorable melody. “Love. Sex. Riot.” is not on the top of my list for content, but with the guest vocals from Fronz (Attila) this track easily stands apart from every other track. He provides a unique element which is perfect for that particular song.

The first half of “Her Monologue” is great, but I do not like the last half in the slightest. For those who have not heard already, Tyler raps (no joking) some verses alongside a female rapper. I don’t think it should have been on the album, or at least it could have been dubbed “bonus track.” Tyler is definitely known for his hip hop influence in his music and that is part of what separates him from other vocalists in this genre, but I think the addition of such straightforward hip hop elements is something Issues could do without.

So, do I think this group has a bright future in front of them, or did we all jump the proverbial gun too soon? Personally, I believe they have the ability to create an album that far surpasses this release if they’re willing to take the time and refine their craft. While I don’t like every track, Black Diamonds is definitely worth listening to. I’m not sure anyone really knew what to expect from this group, but they have definitely managed to separate themselves from their previous associations. I felt that would be impossible, as I am sure many of you did too, so let’s hope they keep it up in the years to come.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by: Kriston McConnell

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  • Sunjay140

    It’s a great EP

  • underdawg87

    This is probably going to seem extreme, and i probably don’t mean it long term, but right now i feel as though this is definitely my favorite release of the year! a Solid 6 tracks, including the Hidden/Rap track. i like it all!!!!!