I love a good ‘first person possessive adjective’ band name. My Chemical Romance, My Vitriol, My Dying Bride…it suggests a dark drama within. My Diligence doesn’t get the juices flowing in quite the same fashion, but the rampant category-defying experience this Brussels collective provides is anything but weary drudge.
Sophomore album Sun Rose (Mottow Sounds) begins as a deep, fiery escapade blending the heavy excitement of Clutch with the soaring, mystical sentiment of compatriots Amenra. The resonant thrum of opener ‘Resentful’ displays the powerful punch of the former’s Desert groove with the latter’s blackened power; the whole a thick, pensive bludgeon with vocalist John Sailor speaking across the sound of ages.
It’s a rhythm-heavy sound, the post-Black leads dancing like ladders in tights across the leaden bedrock. Those crushing riffs carry into ‘Hunt The Hunter’, a powerhouse of a track which gives the versatile weight of Mastodon and Meshuggah an emotional charge of creativity.
‘Backstabber’ shoves a melodic Prog element through the overwhelming swell with the delicacy of Yes entering a rottweiler’s jaws. The might of the pulverising, Karnivool-esque rhythms is offset by harmonies and leadwork: a delight that’s as delicious as salt and pepper chicken, delivered with the intensity of being force-fed said takeaway by the Krays. As the title suggests, ‘An Asteroid Arrow’ offers a stellar trip through an eighties landscape, the post-Rock power of Then Jerico anchoring the pouting lips of Duran Duran at their finest: that weight glorious and unfathomable.
‘Flying Poney’ does just that: Get Up Kids meets Dookie-era Green Day, and the diverse nature of this remarkable trio takes another twist, not tethering itself to any particular genre but giving a deafening representation of their own tastes, by their own hand. ‘Lecter’s Song’ throws a similar tangent, this time with Black-Punk leads ploughing shards into a thickened Grunge atmosphere. The band’s well-reputed Torche influence kicks in here but so much thicker, heavier than the more noted outfit. Sailor’s lead guitar, once melodic, then slices through monstrous riffs and rhythms with a euphoric explosion, enough to raise the dead for one last, angst-ridden teenage party.
‘So Pretty So Cruel’ continues this melodic battery, but with a ‘Pretty In Pink’ sensibility which brings that cheesy pubescence into a thrilling maturity. Closing duet ‘Serpentine’ and ‘Unreal’, meanwhile, epitomise the immediacy and attractiveness of My Diligence: crushing yet deft rhythms showered in shimmering, wailing emotion, firing in and out with the energy and control of a child genius. This kind of music should be unimportant bubblegum, but the fulminating essence of Sun Rose could make it a genre-spanning joy that will be discussed for years.
8 / 10