Like quite likely many of you, I ran into the Austrian metal / metalcore band CueStack due to a Crowdfunding campaign: the Austrians wanted to do a song with their big idol, David Hasselhoff. The campaign succeeded – and Through The Night was born. Now, they are back with Diagnosis:Human, which is their debut album. It has been released on 6th August 2021.
CueStack – About The Artists
I unfortunately could not find too many facts about CueStack. The band feels to consist of two members only – with a clear split of duties: Martine Kames is the mastermind behind the electronic sounds and Bernth Brodträger is caring about the guitars and any string related contribution. Together they fusion metal with electronic sounds. Through The Night has been a huge success for the band and already lead to over three million views on YouTube only. However, their song Transhuman Generation has also been streamed about half a million times on the platform. CueStack are also doing metal covers of pop songs.
CueStack – Diagnosis:Human – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 38 minutes.
Yes, of course, you recognize the strong electronic elements in the CueStack songs – but finally, the tracks feel much more like metal than any electronic stuff like house, synthpop or hardcore. The first song of the album, Alive pushes with full force from the very beginning. The electronic parts are more present during the verses – but the closer the track gets to the chorus, the more it is time for the riffs. Cool, powerful song.
Monster definitely has a stronger electronic influence, including distorted vocals. It has a very interesting blend. Short episodes even feel like black metal to me, then there is a touch of Rammstein sound here and there to me. The Austrian just give a powerful feel to this song.
3. Line of Code
Line of Code has a very dark touch. I cannot relate to it as well as to the two songs before. The electronic part of the music of CueStack is definitely stronger in this third track than in the first two songs before. Not sure if it is not too few metal for metalheads and too many riffs for electronic music lovers.
4. Transhuman Generation
The sound of Transhuman Generation is very close to Line of Code in my point of view. There is also less straightness and power in these songs. The growling part in the vocals quite nice though.
Gynoid rather feels to touch the rock-metal style of CueStack at the beginning of the song – but then the songs feels to dissipate its headbanging energies. The song stays somewhere in between of electronic music and rock/metal – which is just not the most fertile land to grow popular and good-to-listen music.
Even though the song is not as good as the openers, Energize is feeling to have a stronger potential again. The track has parts in which the two main characters can present their skills each. A good CueStack song just cannot be a 50:50 share. Either favor electronic sounds or metal – Energize goes for the guitars and the headbanging.
7. Nothing Without Me
With a certain ironic smile in my face, I am tempted to call this song a power ballad. The chorus at least has a lot of potential for that. Unfortunately the verses and the bridge just rather feel like the pee break in a thrilling theater play.
CueStack is doing some charity with the release of their single Stronger. This should lead to some motivation to give the song a try, I guess. Stronger is much more well-balanced than too many tracks on this album. Balancing out the two key elements of their music is key for CueStack. In this eight track, it leads to a good success.
Horizon comes with a nice dramatic plot. Thus, it is one of the songs I favor most on Diagnosis: Human. Even though the “balancing” thing I mentioned in my thoughts about Stronger does not work that well in here.
While I struggled with the middle part of Diagnosis: Human, the opening and the closing of the album comes with the good songs. Overpopulate is a good listen and shows the potential of the band quite nicely.
Especially due to this ups and downs in the review CueStacks debut, I was really curious how they would close the album. Icon is another really good song. Even though the electronic distortion is quite strong, it feels like a compact track, a good listen.
CueStack – Diagnosis:Human – Spotify
Here is Diagnosis:Human on Spotify:
CueStack – Diagnosis:Human – My View
First of all, CueStack showed that they are much more than an Austrian project, who needs to have Michael Knight on board to be a successful skipper in the rough seas of metal. Diagnosis:Human shows that this blending of electronic music and hard rock/metal can work out and lead to enjoyable listens. Unfortunately, this is only true for about half of the track, so that Diagnosis:Human cannot get in touch with the top ratings.
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