The post-hardcore/metalcore genre doesn’t have a large number of bands, but each one has an established voice and unique elements. Monsters Dive is no different and their full length, Dive or Die, presents everything the band has to offer in 10 songs.
Let’s be obvious, if you don’t like hardcore, metalcore, or numetal, Dive or Die is going to be a difficult listen. The crunchy and distorted guitars, pounding drum rhythms, and harsh vocals might be an assault on your ears. There’s little to enjoy if you like established and light melodies. But if you do enjoy the genres, Monsters Dive have definitely all the bases covered. Like many bands in the genre though, the songs can sound a little repetitive, but Monsters Dive do a lot to mitigate that.
One of the best ways to do this is add new voices like Serah of Synsnake, Hunger Noma, and Loss of Infections‘ Heewook. Each one offers a great counterpoint to the vocals. It’s also on “Trauma” that you first get a taste of the synth keyboards in the background. It’s a little hard to hear at points, but does help add an accent to the music.
If there’s one weakness on Dive or Die, it’s that occasionally Monsters Dive are supplementing tracks with more layers than needed. If makes some of the songs sound a little bloated. “Revolution” is an example of this. The song is mixing genres and begins to lose some of its impact. This happens in the latter third of the song with the drumming. It reminds me of Slipknot, but is missing the instrumentals around it to support the technical rhythms.
“Devil Effect” goes full numetal with a hard synth introduction. It’s a stark separation in the album, but works really well. I think it would have been better as the first track on the album, The rest of Dive or Die is as solid as the first half of the album, but it’s hard to decide which song stands out as a single overall.
Monsters Dive present a very solid full length. It has all the right elements of the genres they favor and even provide an outlier. But like many tangent bands, the music can get repetitive and exhaust before the album is complete. I think Monsters Dive are able to get past that barrier, but just barely.