Diamond Head
Diamond Head


3.5
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
April 22nd, 2016 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Surprisingly, Diamond Head are still here and as solid as they’ve been in the last 30 years or so.

Having released one of the greatest debuts in the history of metal in the form of Lightning to the Nations, where does a band go" In the case of Diamond Head, the answer is given by music history itself and is painfully obvious; to the solid yet inferior Borrowed Time which in turn gave its place to a series of subpar LPs that lacked in a variety of aspects. The songwriting was there, the inspiration and talent were apparent so what went wrong" In a sense, what the Brits lacked was most of all a sense of direction, in the form of a Steve Harris. So next time you decide to criticize Lars Ulrich because of his drumming, think of where Metallica recorded their most classic material, the nationality of their co-producer and if that is a coincidence.

So releasing a self titled album, with a cover that looks like a compilation 34 years after Diamond Head were relevant, doesn’t scream success on any level, right" *** no! Believe it or not, Brian Tatler might have made the most kickass return in the history of arts since Gandalf came back as Gandalf the White. Well, not exactly since Heaven and Hell, Painkiller and Brave New World exist, but still… All things being equal, Diamond Head isn’t just the best album the Brits could have offered at this point but as good as “modern” NWOBHM can get.

What makes this LP an essential listen for fans of the band, is the solid songwriting that sounds like the missing link between Lightning to the Nations and Borrowed Time. To be more specific, the music on here isn’t as heavy (or inspired of course) as on the band’s debut, but neither as “poppy” as on their sophomore release that boasted the likes of “Call Me” or “In the Heat of the Night”. In addition, the band’s new singer will bring to mind Sean Harris but doesn’t sound as Plant-esque; he uses a more raspy approach and can certainly be considered as an upgrade from previous vocalist, Nick Tart. However, what makes or breaks a Diamond Head album, is the level of riffs and fortunately there are a lot of standout moments on here. Where the LP works better is on the more energetic tracks and one needs to look no further than album opener “Bones”, “Shout at the Devil” and “See You Rise”. Those three tracks are some of the fastest yet most catchy material on the LP. The riffs are infectious and memorable, the guitar tone is impeccable and the bass audible. “Wizard Sleeve” for example, with its UFO-flavored riff is a typical example of the bass work on here while “Speed” is a highly representative sample of the album.

Nevertheless, all is not great on Diamond Head’s latest full length. When the band lowers the pace and level of energy such as on the semi-epic “All the Reasons You Live”, the political “Our Time Is Now” or their version of “Kashmir” titled “Silence”, the outcome isn’t as interesting. Similarly, “Blood On My Hands” isn’t a bad song per se but feels a bit run of the mill. However, even these tracks have their moments in the form of an interesting guitar solo or a catchy moment. For example, “Set My Soul On Fire” is saved by the strong bridge after the chorus and Tatler’s solo while the penultimate “Diamonds” saves the LP from a mediocre second half and a weak closing.

All in all, Diamond Head is a solid effort even though it’s miles behind the legendary Lightning to the Nations but at the same time can look Borrowed Time straight in the eyes. Granted, removing one or two tracks or decreasing the duration of a couple of others would help in avoiding a sense of tiredness towards the end. But after a sequence of disappointing releases, it’s surprising how Tatler and Co. have bounced back to the point of releasing one of the year’s strongest NWOBHM album’s along with Satan’s Atom by Atom.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Such a strong comeback.



Full stream: https://play.spotify.com/album/76QhxcCehnUwejNIF6VXhA

tempest--
April 22nd 2016


20632 Comments


heard a track off this, wasn't a big fan of the vocals but I'll have to check out the full album to judge

tempest--
April 22nd 2016


20632 Comments


nice review as always btw!

Alastor
April 22nd 2016


1995 Comments


woah, sudden self-titled

Nagrarok
April 22nd 2016


8588 Comments


So this is good eh? I was under the impression any Diamond Head after Borrowed Time was worthless, so I never bothered with any of it.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah after a series of crap, a s/t release appears and it's much better than it's supposed to be haha.

Sabrutin
April 22nd 2016


5996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heard a single and it ruled, will read the review at home.

AngryChristian
April 22nd 2016


117 Comments


Silence is hands down the best song on the album. It doesn't need to riff a lot.

ChaoticVortex
April 22nd 2016


765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jammed to this a couple of weeks ago, very solid stuff. Not suprisingly their best record since Borrowed Time. Good, old-fashioned, blues-driven heavy metal with some iffy ballads, but strong vocals and guitar work.

deslad
April 22nd 2016


634 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really great review man. This sounds really promising; I will listen to it asap.

Digging: B.B. King - Completely Well

EvoHavok
April 22nd 2016


7680 Comments


Nice read, manos!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers fellas!

Antonius
April 22nd 2016


364 Comments


Enthused and passioned Manos. That's a nice review man. Keep on hammerin

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha thanks Antonius. That's the way to go!

Digis
April 23rd 2016


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review bro. Man, I love this band so much, this album is nowhere near LttN level but surely is worthy of the Diamond Head name, great comeback.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Digis. Exactly. If they finish their discog with this one, I'll be ok.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2016


8283 Comments


Album stream:

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/diamond-head-entire-new-album-available-for-streaming/



Good review as always.

Digging: Veiled (DE) - In Blinding Presence

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks!

Sabrutin
April 24th 2016


5996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Completed my first listen, decidedly positive opinion I'd say. May be one of my faves this year so far but I need to relisten. Great album for sure.



Sweet read, agreed about Diamonds' greatness. Spotted a little typo in Ulrich's surname in the first paragraph.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On my first few listens this was a 4 for me but then it slipped just slightly. I'm so glad because Tatler kicks serious ass once again.



Thanks for the typo as well.



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