Diamond Head
Lightning to the Nations


5.0
classic

Review

by Killahit USER (6 Reviews)
August 2nd, 2011 | 30 replies | 4,445 views


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's Electric!

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

Let's be brutally honest here: the NWOBHM movement was the greatest time for rock. It introduced several new faces and bands to the heavy metal scene, such as Iron Maiden, Avenger, and Motorhead, to name a few familiar faces. But if there was any band who was easily the most influential, it had to be Diamond Head.

With the release of the four horsemen of NWOBHM's debut, Lightning to the Nations in 1980, the Diamond Head foursome garnered popular attention. Sporting hard, heavy guitar solos, smashing drum work, and a healthy dose of aggressive, early-influenced thrash metal, the album later proved to be more of an underrated highlight and milestone of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and to 80's metal. Diamond Head was formed in 1976 by Brian Tatler and Duncan Scott, two close friends into rock music. The vocalist Sean Harris auditioned and was voted into the band, and just a couple of months later, bassist Colin Kimberley joined Diamond Head. After playing several gigs, they earned enough money for a truck, tour bus (purchased from Arizona Killers, hell yeah!), and lighting rig.

Lightning to the Nations was recorded in seven days in Worcester. By this time, the band had no major label wanting to commit to having them, and their gigs were going downhill. They made a decision to release it under their own label, oddly called Happy Face Records. Later proving to be a good decision, Nations was released in cassette only, and later CD copies. It later proved to be one of the best heavy metal albums of all time, and highly influential to several major label bands.

Kicking off the classic seven-track LP is "Lightning to the Nations", one of the band's classic tunes. With sharp, shredding guitars and crushing bass, right from the first minute of the album it proves to be an energetic release. The dense drumming and cheesy vocals also highlight. This style should help a listener understand Diamond Head: a hard-rocking, fast-paced song, yet incredibly straightforward in its own way, whereas other metal bands stick to a particular technicality. (I'm going to set you down, I'm going to set this right, I'm going to bring you home / I'll bring you lightning to the nations / to the nations / to the nations)

Lyrically, the greatest song on the album is "Am I Evil?" and "The Prince". The former shows off a dark, haunting opening riff strangely similar to Black Sabbath's self titled track (with few notes and a lowwwwwwwwww pitch), and crashing drums, it slowly fades into a fast-paced, dark song. This deals with a man going mentally insane after witnessing his mother burned alive, chanting numerous death wishes and violence warring for dominance. The riff in the song is cataclysmic and the frenzied midtempo section will keep it energized and fresh. The Prince maintains that chaos, telling a tale of a man jealous of a prince, with his wealth, fame, power, and respect. This man vows to kill the prince, in a slow, painful manner. The bitterness of the song is high, and the thumping bass, shredding guitar, and quick drums prove to be one of the iconic thrash songs Diamond Head is known for.

With such a sense in that, you'd think that everything else feels less notorious. This is not the case, where three single songs prove to be the worth of the album altogether. It is far more toned down than most thrash, and takes a more mainstream approach to it. The songs Sweet and Innocent and Sucking My Love, while both being explosive and highly enjoyable, are both as straightforward as humanly possible. (You live it good girl / And baby you live it high,
You reach it easily, makes me wanna cry) Still, the playful nature alongside those two apocalyptic entries makes for a good mix of emotions. (Angsty then happy, vengeful then cooing)

It's been more than thirty years since Lightning to the Nations was released. It doesn't feel any less fresh, any less surprising. It is still one of the defining moments of metal, easily, and it is such a visceral approach, you'd believe it was an experienced band in a major label, not a self-produced album made in a week. And if you can't find yourself enjoying this piece of metal art, you're definitely either mentally ill or just plain ***ing retarded. So thrash away.

Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations
Released in 1980 under Happy Face Records




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user ratings (305)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
TheMetalPony (5)
A great starter to heavy metal, and one of the best metal albums of all time....

OFace (5)
Good Riffs...

Sean Goodwin (5)
Diamond Head's debut album does not disappoint. It is able to give the listener complexity, catchy l...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Killahit
August 2nd 2011



311 Comments


As much as I praise Sean Goodwin for finally sitting down and reviewing one of the best metal bands ever, it did need a review that wasn't a track by track.

So give criticism, and thrash on.

Killahit
August 2nd 2011



311 Comments


Because I like Diamond Head I'm raven?

Ovrot
August 2nd 2011



10465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AM I EVIL?

Digging: Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene

Killahit
August 2nd 2011



311 Comments


@Ovrot: Nooooope.

@sonictheplumber: dude I'm serious I'm not raven. The only comparisons about us is that we're diamond head bros and we like paranoid

RavenRock
August 2nd 2011



688 Comments


you yappin about me

Killahit
August 2nd 2011



311 Comments


Good enough sonic.

Anyways, this was a pretty fun review to write. Kind of glad more people have started to review Diamond Head

Killahit
August 2nd 2011



311 Comments


Whoa wait what the fuck

I thought Raven was perma banned

RavenRock
August 2nd 2011



688 Comments


ive been unbanned for months dude

I just made all those profiles to annoy you all lol rofl AXEL RUDI PELL forever

The only reason sonic don't like rudi pell is because he isn't a true rocker

RavenRock
August 2nd 2011



688 Comments


You just proved my point again

Killahit
August 2nd 2011



311 Comments


God damn this has to be some kind of world record for bad timing

TomArnoldsArmpit
August 2nd 2011



2990 Comments


no


LepreCon
August 2nd 2011



3593 Comments


Fuck yeah /m/(-_-)/m/

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2011



19993 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I bring you lightning TO THE NAATIOOONS!

HenchmanOfSanta
August 2nd 2011



1852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

While this album is no doubt great and influential, I really doubt that Diamond Head holds more influence over the metal genre than Iron Maiden.

Megadeth
August 2nd 2011



935 Comments


UGH

omnipanzer
August 2nd 2011



21418 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Edit: I missed that.

Digging: Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy

rockandmetaljunkie
August 2nd 2011



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good review

nwobhm movement was indeed the greatest time for Rock after the heavy rock movement in the beginning of the 70's.

BigHans
August 2nd 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Exactly how many alts have you created Raven? Just curious. I lost count.

KILL
August 2nd 2011



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea hes gay

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

coasterdude2006
August 2nd 2011



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

SOMEONE FINALLY DID A PROPER REVIEW! I was thinking about making one, but being lazy was WAY too tempting. It's nice to see that you were able to do the album justice with this well-written review. THRASH ON!!! m/



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