Djent/modern technical metal is always so hit and miss. For every one band that gets it right, it seems like there’s a hundred that just release plastic-sounding, lifeless tosh.
Well, clearly Borders are doing something right, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it to the review stage.
The songs on Diagnosed are modern, heavy, and full of djent-styled riffs. As djent is so very easy to do poorly, it should be noted that most of these riffs are better than the standard for this genre, and these tracks are very enjoyable because of this.
The singer is also better than the norm for this kind of thing. He has an extremely brutal set of pipes, screaming and growling with fervour over the technical breakdowns and mutant riffs. When he wants to he can get quite emotive in his delivery too, which is good to hear. These are the exception, but I’m reminded of the kind of emotive vocals that Polar do so well in these places. His entire performance is very impressive and lends the tracks an air of savagery and intensity that’s sadly lacking in most songs of this style.
This emotive edge provided by the singer is also shared by the music on occasion too. When it’s not attempting to crush and explode on the dance floor with massively heavy grooves, the music takes on an atmospheric sheen that’s quite involving.
Speaking of these massively heavy grooves; the band’s heaviness is very engaging on more than one level. First, from the simplistic urge to destroy that the heavy music gives, but also, secondly, in the complicated rhythms and warped syncopation of the general guitars.
No, I’m not a huge fan of djent. However, when it’s done well it really does work. Borders do it very well indeed, and Diagnosed works a treat.
Very highly recommended.