We all know the legend and mythology of England's Diamond Head. They were one of the progenitors of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM). They inspired Metallica, who covered more than a few of their songs. They also struggled and floundered in their early years despite all this recognition. Yet, thanks to the same recognition from Metallica, specifically Lars, the band has had a resurrection in the 21st century, but hasn't released a studio album since 2007. Here's their latest, simple self-titled, with new singer Rasmus Bom Andersen.
Fundamentally and essentially, Diamond Head also resurrects the classic heavy metal of the NWoBHM tradition. But by modern standards some folk, listening to this album, might not even call this a heavy metal album. Their sound is not thrashy, harsh, hardcore, or grossly down-tuned. No. Traditional melodic heavy metal moved as much by speed and riffs as it did with an abundance of melody and groove. So riffs abound with twin guitar harmony, something of a signature element for the genre. The pace can swift at times, or alternatively more modest. Rhythm and groove from a clear bass line and drum punch invigorate and power the songs along. Of course, classic heavy metal would be nothing without fiery lead guitar solos. Fear not, you got them. As for the vocals, in the best tradition, Andersen sings clean and melodic with a strong presence, going a bit metal screamo as necessary.
And these things basically define the songs. Here's some highlights. Something more brisk come with songs like Shout At The Devil, Speed, or Diamonds. Conversely, Wizard Sleeve races from the start, only to breakdown in the center with this bluesy hard rock guitar solo. In the metal anthem, All The Reasons You Live you get some symphonic notes to start and end the song, with the guitar solo in the latter half inspired by the same. Within the song Silence, you may hear some of founder and guitarist Brian Tatler's and Diamond Head's own influence as a bit of Led Zeppelin comes through in the riffage and groove, perhaps channeling some sounds from Physical Graffiti, if not the Middle East. Bottom line? It's all good, a fine return to form for this iconic band. I think you'll like it. Recommended.
Diamond Head resurrects the classic heavy metal of the NWoBHM tradition, and it's all good. This album is a fine return to form for this iconic band. I think you'll like it. Recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]