One of the more anticipated metal releases of 2004, Diecast has returned with an adjusted band line-up and a new and better sound to show for it. Building on the thrashmetalcore of their previous and well-received release (2001’s “Day of Reckoning”), the most noticeable change on this newest is the vocal presence. Paul Stoddard is the new throat and he has brought the band up about three notches. While retaining all the aggression and throaty screams of previous Diecast metal attacks, Stoddard also has a commanding clear voice that he uses liberally. Mix that with some of the more precise metalcore/hardcore guitars the scene has to offer, and the end result is metal done well with actual hooks in the vocals. It’s great to hear stark Hatebreed type moshing breakdowns being lifted up by soaring vocals that have talent and range. But don’t be mislead into thinking this is a ‘softer’ Diecast. Stoddard can scream, bark and rage through the bulk of the material giving the metal edge the music demands. But when the band his melody, they really hit something catchy and memorable. There are SO many good metal releases this year, this should be in the top five for sure. By far, this is the best Diecast release to date. If they can hold this lineup together (they’ve had 17 different guitarists for chrissakes), “Tearing Down Your Blue Skies” marks one hell of a new direction for the band to develop in. The perfect blend of thrashmetal and hardcore. It’s that good. File this next to that new Shadows Fall, All That Remains and Unearth discs. Fuel for the pit people, fuel for the pit.