NWOBHM legends Diamond Head have been very quiet in recent years, and though some fans might have been worried that perhaps the career of this highly influential band might be drawing to a close, that's clearly not the case with the arrival of a their brand new, self-titled CD for Dissonance Productions. Founding member & guitarist Brian Tatler discovered quite the find in new vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen, and together, along with drummer Karl Wilcox, bassist Eddie Moohan, and guitarist Abbz, Diamond Head have created one of their strongest albums in years, and one that instantly brings back the feel of their early efforts.
There's a reason why bands like Metallica, Anthrax, and so many other young metal bands that started out in the early '80s worshipped Diamond Head; these guys had a unique sound that mixed classic metal, thrash, bluesy hard rock, and a touch of doom, complete with swirling melodies and plenty of emotion. Diamond Head brings all these qualities to the table once again, an album featuring songs that are instantly memorable, contain killer guitar work, and sensational vocals. "Bones" might just be the best opening song on any album I've heard this year, save for "Until I Die" from the Inglorious debut, and "Shout at the Devil" rocks hard with dark metal conviction. The moody "Set My Soul on Fire" follows, a great vehicle for Andersen's powerful vocals, and he also shines on the speedy "See You Rise", a tumultuous and quite riffy rocker that has tons of attitude. Crunchy metal riffs meet prog rock styled keyboards on the melodic "All the Reasons You Live", and the manic, thrashy "Wizards Sleeve" could have easily been birthed during the sessions of Lightning to the Nations, a dark, sizzling, and moody heavy rocker containing a wealth of killer guitar riffs from Tatler & Abbz. "Our Time is Now" plods along with a bluesy, doomy force, giving way to the frantic arrangements of "Speed", another example of classic, early '80s styled heavy metal. Another great throwback to the bands classic material is "Blood on My Hands", a moody yet snarling example of vintage sounding metal, with a never ending amount of killer guitar riffs and soaring vocals. Outstanding. The band close out the show here with the bluesy hard rock swagger of "Diamonds" and the epic, ominous strains of "Silence", easily the darkest and most prog oriented tune here, dripping with atmosphere and slowly building to a bombastic climax.
For so many of us aging metal fans, there's nothing more satisfying than when a classic band bounces back with an album that just knocks you on your ass and brings back images of the glory years, in many cases decades after we all thought they were well past their prime. Diamond Head have indeed done that here, delivering a stunning collection of songs that instantly remind us of why they were such an influential part of that early NWOBHM scene to begin with. In short, get this album at all costs!!
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2. Shout At The Devil
3. Set My soul On fire
4. See you Rise
5. All The Reasons You Live
6. Wizards Sleeve
7. Our Time Is Now
9. Blood On My Hands