Element / Diasphere

Nottingham Old Vic

December 7 1999

This it appears was part of a 5 band line up. Only caught the last song of the first band, and must admit I left after Diasphere. Yeah, I know. Hypocrite. Look, join the queue if you want a pop, there's others ahead of you at the moment.

But due to this being a 5 band thing, it meant that both Element and Diasphere are limited to 4 songs each. As it turns out, this is a good thing, because it feels like they both concentrate on playing their best material. As such it's the best I've seen either band play. And at their age, to have 20 minutes of quality material is a big thing.

Element are first, featuring as they do new drummer Paul, who also does the duties in 3rd Stone. It's helped add an extra dimension to the music, particularly evident in third song KY(?), which has plenty of nice little drum fills, including one that is just a little different to what everyone is doing at the moment. A paradiddle or something. Ah yeah, I've heard those names before as well. The music in general feels strong, but the problem in a way is that it's too strong, too NOW. They slot perfectly in the nu-metal thing, and as a short term thing that's fine, but long term I'm not so sure. They certainly have the ability. It's perhaps best exemplified by the vocals, the gutteral throat ripping hardcore style. They're strong no doubt, but the one song that opens with just the vocals shows how they sound just like a NY hardcore band. It's almost like you can hear the accent. If they can just find their own thing there, it would help immeasurably in my opinion.

In a way Diasphere face a similar dilemma. Tonight is the first time I've listened without earplugs, so maybe I'm just getting a different listening experience. But as they open, vocalist Paul sings for almost the entirety of the first track. And to me there's hints of Keith Caputo in the voice. Powerful, soaring, melodic yet sombre. It's a direction I really hope he looks to further develop. The more throat ripping style crops up, and again, as fine as it is, it's too good. Too current. Too unlike everyone else. For me it's like this, if people are going to roar, how about listening to the various styles Patton does, and take one of those to use. Cos at the moment everyone is just sounding the same. Apparently the first track was a new one, the first time they played it. It's good. It's a development. Hope that they follow it up, because again, they've got the ability. I still don't know the names of the songs, but as before, the third track they play has a huge bouncy riff. Whereas before this was the point in which their set always picked up from being good but no different to others to standing out, tonight everything stands out. Like I said, the limit on time may well have been a very good thing for both bands.