Diamond Head
Lightning to the Nations


5.0
classic

Review

by TheMetalPony USER (3 Reviews)
August 8th, 2012 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A great starter to heavy metal, and one of the best metal albums of all time.

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement has spawned some interesting and important bands. Judas Priest has designed the classic heavy metal clothing, while Motörhead incorporated more punk in their music, and Iron Maiden became one of the biggest metal bands ever.
However, there were also the highly influential bands who didn’t get much attention or lost their fame, like Venom and Diamond Head.

Diamond Head. How could a band with such a crappy name make one of the best metal records ever? Well, the name seems kind of crappy indeed, but it gives them their identity. An identity as one of the many “Head” bandnames, but also as a band that made a diamond of an album.
That album is called Lightning to the Nations.

The Lightning to the Nations LP was originally sold in a simple white sleeve, with not much info on it. I accually would never buy that, if I didn’t know what it would sound like. Fortunately, we live in a time of downloads now, so I can first listen what I’m about to buy.
When I found out about Diamond Head, I was reading something on Wikipedia about the NWoBHM, because of my interest in where thrash metal did come from. The name Diamond Head came along, and it kinda stuck into my head. I downloaded their discography, and I looked on Wikipedia to find their most positively acclaimed record.
Well of course, that was their famous debut album.
I listened this album during my paper round, and while I played a video game at school. It seemed to me that this album was so good, that it can almost never be possible to make a better thrash metal or heavy metal album.

The album consists of 7 songs, and 7 bonus tracks if you have the new cd version. The version of the album I downloaded had a lot of bonus tracks, because it was the cd version, of course. These bonus tracks were not that interesting, but the original songs were awesome.
The songs have a distinctive part relaxed, part active feel.
The band uses speed, but with a happy twist to it, and
this makes it a record that suits a lot of moods.
I think that, however everything is really good, the first 4 songs are the best.
These songs rely more on riffs than the other songs, and have a less “Motörhead-ish” feel to it. These a definitely the songs that make the less good parts disappear in awesomeness.
Some of the songs also have progressive elements to it, because of the length of the songs, and the many different riffs and chords. This reminds me of an old favorite band of mine: Rush. Compare Rush’s La Villa Strangiato with Diamond Head’s Sucking my Love for example.
As Rush did, Diamond Head uses long intros and many fills and alternate passages, and uses multiple bridges and solos. This kind of incorporating solos is also used often in thrash metal.
Diamond Head has definitely showed me how it’s really done,
the riffs were awesome, the sound was really old-school, the variation and the repetition were perfectly balanced, and the originality was great.

This album was a great influence on Metallica and Megadeth, and that is hearable. If you compare the intro of Am I Evil to Megadeth’s In My Darkest Hour, and The Prince to Metallica’s Hit the Lights, this is pretty obvious.
However, I think the Diamond Head songs are still better, and can never be topped by any heavy or thrash metal band.
Metallica now has gained a lot of fame, while being heavily influenced by Diamond Head. I think actually Diamond Head should have that fame.

Diamond Head set a huge standard for heavy and thrash metal bands with this record. Maybe the only things that were less good, were Sean Harris’ whiny singing and the bonus tracks. But as I said, these things were less good, not bad. And if we think about these little flaws, we can honestly say that these get blown away by the quality of this album overall.
This record does exactly what it should do, making a relaxed listening experience and still give more strength to the music.
Of course, we should not forget that the quality of the riffs is worth almost a 6 out of 5. All these things make this one of the best, and maybe the best overall, of all metal records.


user ratings (314)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
LaughingSkull (5)
A fine legacy...

OFace (5)
Good Riffs...

Killahit (5)
It's Electric!...

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 
ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


Agree with the rating, not completley with the review.
First of all, Diamond Head is an awesome name, secondly, his voice is fucking amazing.
One thing I agree with is the influence on Metallica and Dave. Metallica covered 5 of 7 songs here, and Dave actually wrote a song with Sean of Diamond Head.(Crown Of Worms)
Your comparisons are awful though. Hit The Lights and The Prince? Wtf?

ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


Well fuck a troll has more approval than me.

omnipanzer
August 8th 2012


21621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"One thing I agree with is the influence on Metallica and Dave."
You should... because he said it was an influence. ;^)

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


Yea thats why I am agreeing with him.

TheMetalPony
August 8th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ViperAces, Hit the Lights is basically a simplified version of the Prince.
Compare the main riff of Hit the Lights with the verse riff of the Prince.
I think the Diamond Head name is ok, because it gives them their identity, but it also sounds a little randomised. About the singing, I don't think it's that bad, but Sean whines a little too much some times. You know, all the "Yeah yeah" stuff.

ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


Well I dont hear any similarity, but to each his own I guess.

omnipanzer
August 8th 2012


21621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's a fact so there is nothing to agree with. Similarly there was no real reason for him to give examples to verify his statement. It's a documented fact... that is all.

ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


Yea I agree.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2012


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent album, but your review needs a lot of tidying up. Basically the first half of the review is almost based upon how you yourself came to know the album, and how is 'Diamond Head' a crappy name? I think it's perfect for a NWOBHM band.

ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


I neg'd him so now we have about the same approval.

KILL
August 8th 2012


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

CaptainDooRight
August 8th 2012


29966 Comments


lol no rating for this

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

TheMetalPony
August 8th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

linguist2011, it is kinda hard to make a review of a cd, because the best thing you can do is just listen it yourself. That is why I like to give additional info.
And indeed, the name fits a NWoBHM band pretty well.
And Omnipanzer, Metallica said it themselves they were influenced by Diamond Head.
Otherwise it would not be proven, because sometimes you just don't know where you got an idea from. I once wrote a song, and after I wrote it down, I noticed that it was almost an exact copy of In my Darkest Hour by Megadeth for example.

TheMetalPony
August 8th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You know, the name doesn't really sound "heavy" or badass.
For outsiders, the name might be not that interesting.

ViperAces
August 8th 2012


12466 Comments


Well idk it always sounded awesome to me.

AskAak
August 8th 2012


77 Comments


riffs

TheMetalPony
August 9th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well, the name is not bad, but as I said, to outsiders it may look a little randomised and not really a fitting heavy metal name if you compare the name to names as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. Anyway, I do not really understand how they got the idea to name themselves Diamond Head. However, the name gives them an identity, and that is good.

CaptainDooRight
August 9th 2012


29966 Comments


reported



TheMetalPony
August 17th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

detroper



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