Starting out life as alternative rockers Feline in 1995, renaming as Ultraviolet after getting dropped by EMI in 1998, and finally forming as a heavier outfit in 2000, we have Die So Fluid. Fusing alternative rock and metal together towards one melancholic whole, Die So Fluid’s latest studio album One Bullet From Paradise (Strataville) is their fifth and comes after a traumatic time for the three-piece. Drummer Al Fletcher passed away two years ago after contracting pneumonia followed by sepsis, Georgina ‘Grog’ Lisee (vocals and bass) and Drew Richards (guitar) decided to soldier on with the help of Justin Bennett on drums.
Despite this trauma, One Bullet From Paradise is a balanced affair which spans the gamut between rock and metal with plenty of gusto and big choruses, a broader and more textured affair than the metallic melancholia of the previous record The Opposites of Light. It starts off heavy, with the woozy yet bassy rumble of Drew’s guitar on ‘HumanUNkind’ giving it a grunge like feel. ‘Tomorrow Doesn’t Always Come’ is the lead single; a direct, radio-friendly slab of metal with an enthusiastically sung carpe diem sentiment. ‘Bittersweet’ has a similar appeal, a short and sharp rocker with a chugging Midnight Oil-esque riff and some dextrous fretwork. No More Stars’ is a shotgun blast of a track, with Grog’s rich and thick bass lending itself towards the heavy, deep-set groove.
The album’s second half is where it diversifies, with other ingredients added to their hard rock and metal stew. ‘Skeleton Suit’ is such an example, a hard rocker with a bluesy shuffle and buzzy synths and piano both utilized to good effect – adding light in amongst the shade. Post-punk influences give added texture as well, with the, unfortunately, middle of the road duo ‘Manifest’ and ‘Uncomplicated’ the main exponents. Electronic sounds and a tribal drum beat are high in the mix in the title track, which whilst certainly not unpleasant does not leave much of a lasting impression. A sense of mourning and melancholia are ever-present in ‘Farewell’; a sincere ballad which starts with mellow strings but soon grows in power, all of which results in a decent album which mixes metal, hard rock and grunge together to good effect.