As far as metal-core bands come, Issues are quite an interesting bunch. Their debut EP Black Diamonds, released in 2012, was a blend of multiple genres. Honestly, I was pretty thrown off by what I was listening to, probably because what I’ve heard from the “genre” had all been predictable. However, this EP was anything but predictable.

For an introduction to the EP, Issues created some sort of dub-step/R&B song. I thought to myself “am I listening to the right band?,” so I let the song play out and it turns out I was. After the brief intro, I was blasted in the ear with what you would expect from a metal-core band; powerful fuzzy-guitar riffs, dissonant raspy vocals, a dude who sings clean and in a high register and a rhythm section chugging along, like a stampede of bison.

Where Issues separates themselves from the herd of metal-core bands, is in the smorgasbord of genres they compressed into this EP. Most of the songs, while heavy and aggressive, were something that you would possibly hear on a top 40 radio station. Black Diamonds incorporates electronic, R&B, rap and metal into one, six song EP, which is a feat within itself. While at times corny, especially the “rap” outro during “Her Monologue,” Black Diamonds is a brave exploration into where the metal-core genre may be able to expand.

Review By: Alex Roth