Like My Friend Skeleton, The Birthday Massacre is a band I have loved for years. Their second album Violet is, without a doubt, one of my favourite albums of all time. “Video Kid” was the track that reeled me in, and it shared a track listing with some of the greatest gothic electro-rock of all time.
Now The Birthday Massacre have returned with Diamonds. Getting a chance to talk about this act is very exciting to me. It’s a chance to reflect on their distinctive artwork, which balances images of innocence and wonder against violence and death.
And naturally, it means I get to talk about their music. One thing which is most interesting about The Birthday Massacre’s work is that it was way ahead of the curve. They’ve been mixing powerful rock with dark synths for decades now. Their work sits neatly within the current trends of synthwave and its related sub-genres.
The Birthday Massacre’s formula has remained pretty much unchanged throughout their career. But that doesn’t mean they’re resting on their laurels.
Opening track “Enter” hammers this point home. The tones and drums will be familiar to fans, and will likely excite the uninitiated; especially if they love their electrocore. It’s a great start to Diamonds, and also a superb introduction to The Birthday Massacre’s sound.
What it also reveals is a greater level of confidence from lead vocalist Chibi. She was never short of that, but there’s a greater assurance here. On Diamonds we encounter a seasoned performer at the top of her game.
The title track carries some crunching guitar from long time member Falcore. It’s a very forceful line, and “Diamonds” features a beautiful solo that glides magnificently across every layer beneath it.
The highest point on Diamonds is reached during “Flashback.” It leans harder on the electro side of The Birthday Massacre’s sound. A pulsating vein of EBM runs through it, while the frets are worked just as hard as the keys. It’s a simply awesome way to spend three and a half minutes.
And, no joke, I got chills while listening to it. It pulls off the neat trick of bundling high energy synthwave with a haunting aura.
The Birthday Massacre are back and they are reinvigorated. While Diamonds doesn’t fly as high as Violet, it’s still a triumphant return from one of the greatest cult acts in alternative music.
You can find The Birthday Massacre here:
Diamonds will be available on all platforms from 27th March 2020. Released through Metropolis Records.